Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT), a statewide land conservation organization, has named Kate Stookey as its president and CEO. MCHT president Tim Glidden retired at the end of 2021.
Stookey, who grew up in Blue Hill, brings deep experience in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. She has held leadership positions in a number of organizations, including the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, where she built and oversaw the public affairs and community partnerships division, and Pathfinder International, where she led multiple global organizational initiatives.
Most recently, Stookey served as executive director of Revels, a national cultural arts nonprofit based in Watertown, Mass.
Stookey earned a BA in international relations from Brown University and holds a graduate certificate in organizational behavior from Harvard University and a certificate in strategic leadership from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
The coast of Maine was the backdrop of her formative years, and, after time spent traveling and working and living abroad and around the country, Stookey is excited to return home to work in service to Maine’s environment and coastal communities.
“I am honored to have been selected as the next president and CEO of Maine Coast Heritage Trust,” said Stookey. “I believe deeply in protecting Maine’s coast and natural spaces and keeping them accessible for those who work, live, and explore here. It is a privilege to join an organization that has such a profoundly positive impact on the people and the ecology of this state.”
MCHT’s board members give her high marks.
“Kate is a dynamic organizational leader with demonstrated success as a collaborator and bridge builder,” said board chairman Tom Armstrong.
“Increasingly, the work of land conservation is about forging relationships across diverse groups of people and interests. Kate brings precisely the quality of inclusive leadership that is needed at this moment, especially in this era of climate change and the challenges it poses to the Maine coast.”
Long-time MCHT board member Tom Ireland and co-chair of the presidential search committee added that Stookey “brings everything we were looking for in our next president and CEO, including a deep love and passion for Maine, a track record of strategic and visionary leadership, and proven fundraising success.”
Stookey joins MCHT as the organization recently completed a $130 million campaign for the coast, protecting over 11,000 coastal acres and creating 36 new public preserves.
As pressures on the coast of Maine increase, the 50-year-old land conservation organization is working with coastal communities to address issues including increasingly limited water access, food insecurity, degraded habitats, and sea level rise. Over the past five years, MCHT has launched several coast-wide initiatives to maximize coastal resilience in the face of climate change and has been part of a statewide effort to build bridges between Maine’s land trust community and Wabanaki communities.
MCHT maintains a growing network of almost 150 coastal and island preserves free and open to everyone and leads the 80-member Maine Land Trust Network to ensure that land conservation provides benefits to all Maine communities. Get involved at www.mcht.org.