Schoodic Institute names new CEO

WINTER HARBOR — The Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park has named a new president and chief executive officer to run the organization, effective Jan 8 of next year.

Don Kent, who most recently worked at an Arlington, Va., conservation-focused nonprofit called NatureServe Inc., was named president and CEO at Schoodic Institute on Thursday. He succeeds Mark Berry, who led the organization for three years.

Kent has worked in the private, nonprofit and government sectors during his career. He holds a doctorate in biology with concentrations in ecology, evolution, and behavior from Boston University; a master’s degree in zoology from the University of Florida and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Salem State University. His graduate research focused on behavior and energetics of herons and egrets.

“We are so very excited to have Dr. Kent step into this leadership position,” said Board Chairman Alan Goldstein in a press release distributed by the organization. “He is an experienced and successful leader, manager, and conservation scientist with integrity, breadth of knowledge and an understanding of strategic thinking. His management, interpersonal and fundraising skills and commitment to partnerships will contribute greatly to the continued growth and success of the Schoodic Institute.”

In the statement, Kent expressed excitement at the new position.

“I’m both humbled and thrilled to be joining the dedicated group of employees at the Schoodic Institute and its many conservation partners in advancing ecosystem science and lifelong learning in collaboration with the National Park Service at Acadia National Park. I am very excited to return to New England and become an active member of the Downeast Maine community.”

Before NatureServe, Kent worked for the New Hampshire Natural Heritage Bureau, establishing the state’s climate change policy. He has also served as executive director of Community Watershed Fund, a director with Disney’s Research and Development Group and a board member and instructor for the U.S. Environmental Training Institute.

“We are very enthusiastic about the appointment of Dr. Kent,” said Kevin Schneider, superintendent at Acadia National Park in the press release. “Schoodic institute is a critical partner for Acadia National Park and we are confident that he is the right choice to lead the next chapter of this organization. We very much look forward to working together.”

Schoodic Institute is a public-private partnership focused on education and research in conjunction with Acadia National Park. It exists on the site of a former United States Navy base on the Schoodic Peninsula.

Jack Dodson
Jack Dodson began working for The Ellsworth American in mid-2017, and covers eastern Hancock and western Washington counties. He grew up in the Mid-coast region before living in New York City for five years, where he freelanced in documentary filmmaking and journalism. He is particularly interested in criminal justice, environment and immigration reporting.

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