Natural Resources Council of Maine CEO Lisa Pohlmann will step down by the end of this year after more than a decade leading the environmental conservation organization, the group announced Wednesday.

Natural Resources Council of Maine CEO Lisa Pohlmann Courtesy photo

Pohlmann has been involved with the council for 22 years, first as a member of its board of directors for seven years, including two years as board president. She became the organization’s deputy director in 2008 and was hired as CEO in 2011.

Founded in 1959, the organization has more than 25,000 supporters in and out of Maine. Pohlmann was its first female CEO and is a widely respected nonprofit leader in Maine who has dedicated her career to a range of issues from environmental conservation and economic justice to women’s rights.

During Pohlmann’s tenure, the organization was involved in the Penobscot River Restoration Project, passage of the nation’s strictest metal mining law and the establishment of the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument. The council enlisted environmental advocates to oppose export of tar sands oil, and worked on the issues of plastic pollution and climate change.

In an email message to members, Pohlmann described the job as “the most gratifying work of my professional life.”

“I know that thanks to our collective work this organization has never been better prepared to address the significant environmental challenges we face and to make sure that everyone in Maine, regardless of where they live or where they come from, can experience the wonder of the woods, waters, and wildlife that define our very identity,” she wrote.

In 2015, Pohlmann received the first “Women in Conservation” award from the National Wildlife Federation. She holds a doctorate from the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine and previously held leadership positions at the Maine Center for Economic Policy and New Hope for Women.

The Natural Resources Council board has not yet chosen a successor but is forming a search committee, it said. Information about the search and a description of the position can be found on its website at

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