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August 16, 2021

New president at Island Institute brings experience in fisheries and coastal sustainability

COURTESY / ISLAND INSTITUTE The Island Institute, a Rockland community development nonprofit, selected Anthony Chatwin as its new president, effective Aug. 23.

The newly named president of the Island Institute brings a background of marine conservation and the sustainability of coastal communities to his role.

The Rockland community development nonprofit, which serves Maine island and coastal communities, announced today it has selected Anthony Chatwin as president, effective Aug. 23.

“With more than 20 years of experience in building sustainable communities, developing solutions for carbon reduction, and forging public-private partnerships, Dr. Chatwin is extremely well-suited to lead the Island Institute as it addresses the most urgent issues facing Maine’s coast,” Board Chair Emily Lane said in a news release.

“We are delighted to have Tony at the helm as we redouble our efforts around climate action, the coastal economy, and investments in community infrastructure and leadership.”

Before joining the Island Institute, Chatwin led the science and evaluation team at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, where he worked to scale the impact of the foundation’s grant programs and projects and developed strategies for marine conservation and nature-based solutions for carbon reduction. He also established several public-private partnerships, including the Fisheries Innovation Fund, which supports the participation of fishermen and fishing communities in the implementation of sustainable fisheries in the United States. 

Before the foundation, he led the implementation of key strategies to improve the sustainability of coastal communities at the Nature Conservancy and Conservation Law Foundation.

“I’m truly passionate about sustainability — for communities, economies and the environment — and I can’t think of an organization better suited to address these opportunities on Maine’s islands and coast than the Island Institute,” said Chatwin. 

Chatwin holds a master’s degree and doctorate in biological oceanography, first studying at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom and then the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil.

He will become the Island Institute's third president. He was preceded by Rob Snyder, who worked for the institute for 18 years, eight of those as president.

Snyder left at the end of April for a job in the private sector. Robert Beams, the institute’s chief operating officer, has been serving as interim president.

The Island Institute was founded in 1983 and works with 120 island and coastal communities to strengthen economies, enhance education and share information and resources.

With a history rooted in Maine’s fisheries and working waterfronts, the institute has often served in leadership roles to manage processes and partners to cultivate the coastline and islands that have long been a mainstay of the state’s economy. 

At the end of fiscal year 2020, the nonprofit had $24.4 million invested in a range of programs that include educational funds, a fund for Maine islands and its island fellows programs. 

The board of trustees worked with a talent recruitment firm to conduct a national search for the institute’s next president.

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