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Schoodic Institute Announces President and CEO

Winter Harbor –  Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Don Kent, as its new President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Dr. Kent has a diverse career in the government, non-profit, and private sectors, facilitating successful conservation initiatives in support of healthy and resilient landscapes for plants, wildlife and people. He succeeds Mark Berry who was the Schoodic Institute leader for three years. Dr. Kent will begin his new duties January 8, 2018.

“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 life-long 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.”

Most recently, Dr. Kent worked at NatureServe, Inc., an Arlington, Virginia-based non-profit organization that provides conservation-related data, tools, and services to private and government
clients, partner organizations, and the public. At NatureServe, Dr. Kent had a dual role, serving as a member of the Office of the President/CEO and the Executive Team, with shared responsibility for organizational finances, operations, strategy, and policy. As Chief Strategy Officer, he assisted the President with developing, communicating, executing and sustaining NatureServe planning initiatives, and strategies that enhance the capacity, engagement, growth and mission effectiveness of NatureServe’s Network of member organizations. Prior to joining NatureServe, Dr. Kent worked in the nonprofit, government, and private sectors. As Administrator for the New Hampshire Natural Heritage Bureau, he helped develop the state’s climate change policy, established conditions for siting renewable energy projects, and amended guiding statute to enhance protection of natural communities. While serving as Executive Director of Community Watershed Fund, Dr. Kent provided expert review to federal and state agencies
responsible for restoring the Everglades, defined phosphorous cycling and management alternatives, and guided development of a phosphorus criterion. As a Director with Disney’s Research and Development Group, he conducted diverse, seminal, and innovative research on species and natural communities, and enabled a $1 billion conservation-themed park for Walt Disney while conserving 60 protected species. Dr. Kent also served as a Board Member and Instructor for the U.S. Environmental Training Institute whose mission was to export U.S. environmental technology to developing countries through training decision-makers.

“We are so very excited to have Dr. Kent step into this leadership position”, said Board Chairman Alan Goldstein. “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”.

Kevin Schneider, Superintendent at Acadia National Park, is equally welcoming: “We are very enthusiastic about the appointment of Dr. Kent. 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.”
Dr. Don Kent has a Ph.D. in Biology with concentrations in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior from Boston University, a M.A in Zoology from the University of Florida, and a B.A. in Biology from Salem State University. He held Teaching Fellowships or Assistantships at each school, providing instruction in ecology, mammalogy, genetics, field biology, Everglades’ ecology, and invertebrate zoology. His graduate research encompassed behavior and energetics of herons and egrets.

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