AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Center for Economic Policy has found a replacement for its longtime executive director.
Christopher “Kit” St. John has led the liberal-leaning public policy agency since its inception in 1994 but announced earlier this year that he planned to retire.
St. John’s departure paved the way for a national search, which led MECEP’s board of directors recently to hire Garrett Martin as its new executive director.
“Garrett Martin has the vision, expertise and management skills the board sought in the person taking the reins of MECEP and building on the strong foundation established by Christopher St. John in his tenure as MECEP’s founding executive director,” board Chairman Steve Ward said.
Martin is familiar with the nonprofit agency. He has been the associate director since 2009 and was on MECEP’s board of directors prior to that. He has worked in community economic development in southern states as well as India and Ecuador.
“I am humbled and honored to be chosen as MECEP’s next executive director,” Martin said. “Our work on behalf of Maine people is more important than ever before and I am committed to making sure that we continue to advance solutions that result in broadly shared prosperity.”
The Maine Center for Economic Policy’s stated mission is to advance public policy that helps Maine people prosper in a strong, fair and sustainable economy. The group’s work is done through research, analysis and lobbying policymakers.
Martin will formally assume the executive director position on October 18.
Prior to joining MECEP, St. John worked for 20 years as a lobbyist for Pine Tree Legal Assistance, representing low-income groups on issues such as health care, welfare and taxation.
In an interview in April, St. John told the Bangor Daily News that he’s proud of the work MECEP did on expanding health coverage in Maine, defeating TABOR proposals and in making the concept of “livable wages” more widely understood and accepted in Maine.
St. John praised the choice of Martin as his successor.
“I am grateful to MECEP’s board for the time and care they put into an extensive review of many highly qualified candidates,” St. John said. “I am delighted that the board agreed that Garrett Martin will bring the right skills, experience, and judgment to lead MECEP to new successes in years to come.”