The Board

Dr. William J. Brennan
Dr. William J. Brennan serves as President of the Maine Maritime Academy and is a leading authority on environmental policy relating to oceans, the atmosphere, and maritime issues. He has served as Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as Assistant U.S. Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, and as Commissioner of the Department of Marine Resources for the State of Maine. In addition to his NOAA duties, Dr. Brennan served as the Director of the United States Climate Change Science Program and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for International Affairss. He headed W.J. Brennan Associates, a policy and management consulting firm with private and public sector clients in natural resource, energy and environmental areas. Dr. Brennan holds a bachelor’s degree in marine biology, a masters degree in Marine Affairs and doctoral degree in ecology and environmental sciences from the University of Maine. He received an honorary doctor of science degree from the University of Rhode Island for a distinguished career devoted to marine and environmental policy.

David Cousens, Chairman and Vice-president
David Cousens is small business owner and commercial lobsterman with more than 40 years of experience. He has been extremely active in the lobster industry and has considerable experience in the non-profit sector. He has served as the President of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association since 1990, first chair of state’s Lobster Advisory Council, founding member of the Lobster Institute, and served on the lobster advisory panels for the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and New England Fisheries Management Council. He is a member of the Spruce Head Fishermen’s Coop and has served several terms on its board and as its president. He has volunteered and collaborated in many lobster research projects. He has worked as a teacher in the Greenville, ME schools and has coached numerous sports teams. He holds a bachelors degree in education.

James L Dow, Vice-Chairman
James Dow is a commercial fisherman and small business owner with more than 30 years of experience. He currently serves as on the Board of the Maine Lobster Promotion Council and is Vice-president of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association. Mr. Dow organized events and served as a host for the International Lobstermen’s Exchange in 2010. He holds an associate degree in business management.

Amy Lent
Amy Lent serves as the executive director of Maine Maritime Museum. She has worked in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. Her work experience includes serving as director of marketing for two museums in Pennsylvania and at businesses including Saks Fifth Avenue and Pet Valu International. She is active on many boards and committees including the board of the Council of American Maritime Museums, Association of American Museum’s National Programs Planning Committee, Roundtable for Executives’ Museum Leadership Development and the New England Museum Association, Maine State Office of Tourism Commission, Main Street Bath, City of Bath Transportation Commission and is a parent volunteer for her local PTA.

Kristan Porter, 1st Vice-Chairman
Kristan Porter is a small business owner and commercial fisherman who fishes for lobster and runs a dragger for scallops, urchins and mahogany quahogs. He has been active in fisheries issues focused on sustaining Maine’s maritime heritage over the years having served on the Maine Fishing Industry Development Council, DMR Advisory Council, Sea Urchin Advisory Council and was president of the former Downeast Draggers Association. He currently serves on the ASFMC herring advisors and is the fishing industry representative on the Marine Resources Education Program (MREP). He serves as the President of the Maine Fishermen’s Forum and sits on the board of selectmen in Cutler.

Elliott Thomas, Treasurer and Secretary
Elliott Thomas is a small business owner and commercial fisherman with more than 40 years of experience. He is active on science and educational issues related to fisheries serving as chair of the Commercial Fishing Safety Council and on the board of the Maine Fishermen’s Forum, Maine Lobstermen’s Association and Lobster Advisory Council. He formerly served on the Zone F lobster council. He volunteers his time for several cooperative research projects including hosting state sea samplers, juvenile lobster, temperature and large whale research studies. He holds a bachelors degree in geology.