Stephanie Welch

Public Policy Director
  • Policy

In her role as Public Policy Director, Stephanie works across Island Institute programs to advance legislative policies in support of community priorities. She also works with partner organizations and our constituents on Maine’s coast and islands to ensure that our policy work is in line with the strategic direction of the organization and the communities we serve.

Stephanie has undergraduate and graduate degrees in public health and nutrition, and she spent the much of her career in eastern Tennessee working in place-based community health. She was the president of an education foundation where she engaged with communities by using public schools as the center for community improvement. While at the education foundation, she served on the city council of Knoxville and was appointed as Deputy Mayor and Knoxville’s Chief of Economic and Community Development. In this role, she helped create Knoxville’s affordable housing trust fund. Throughout her time in Knoxville, she also served in the Army Reserves, retiring after 21 years.

She has returned to New England to be closer to her family and her New Hampshire and Maine childhood roots. She currently lives in South Thomaston with her partner and their three dogs. She has a passion for yoga, and leads community yoga practice at the South Thomaston Library. She also enjoys hiking, biking, traveling, and cooking.