The leadership program portfolio is a part of the Island Institute’s Island Education Fund, designed to support islanders through life-long learning and skill-building opportunities needed to keep their communities vibrant places to live, work, and educate children. Effective local leadership is the single most distinguishing feature of strong year-round island communities—whether in town government, within nonprofit organizations, or in island-based businesses.

SUPPORTED BY: The Isaacs-DeFrancis Fund for Community Leadership

Recognizing that sustaining strong communities requires effective leadership, long-time Island Institute members and Islesford residents Henry and Donna Isaacs have chosen to honor the legacy of the late Lisa DeFrancis through the establishment of The Isaacs-DeFrancis Fund for Community Leadership. This invested fund will help build the skills and experience of Maine’s island leaders, now and for years to come.

The Island Institute and founders of the Isaacs-DeFrancis Fund for Community Leadership welcome additional contributions to this invested fund, so it may grow to more fully support this critical area of work. Click here to contribute.


ILEAD: (Island Leadership Exploration and Development)

I LEAD Seminars are 3-day leadership training programs for island and remote coastal leaders. The programs are targeted at specific sectors of island economies. They are designed to bring participants together to develop leadership and business management skills and to create a professional network of island leaders.

Recent programs include:

  • ILEAD Non-Profits- January 8-10, 2016

Upcoming programs include:

  • ILEAD Municipal Governments- Early Winter 2017
  • ILEAD Educational Leadership- Late Winter 2017

Contact Karen Burns ( for more information about ILEAD.



The Island Institute will bring leadership training seminars to islands and remote coastal communities upon request. These topics and format of the training seminars will be individualized, based on the community needs. The cost is dependent on the time and topics covered.

Some of the topics available are:

  • Mission, Vision, Values
  • Meeting Facilitation
  • Strategic Planning
  • Fundraising and Budgeting

Contact Karen Burns ( for more information about bringing leadership training to your community.



The Island Institute offers trained facilitators to work with boards or community groups on islands or in remote coastal communities. The facilitator will help develop a plan for the meeting, serve as a neutral party during the meeting, provide notes and offer follow up recommendations after the meeting.  The cost is dependent on the time commitment required.

Some programs we have facilitated in the past include:

  • Strategic Planning Sessions
  • Community Interest Groups
  • Focus Groups

Contact Karen Burns ( for more information about our facilitation services.