After an aggressive, nation-wide search, the Board of Directors of The Maine Heritage Policy Center has selected Lance Dutson, of Portland, to serve as chief executive officer of Maine’s premier free market think tank.
Dutson, who will formally assume the position of CEO on August 8, succeeds former CEO Tarren Bragdon, who resigned in May to launch a new free market think tank in Naples, Florida.
“I’m honored for this opportunity to lead an organization with a long and successful record promoting limited government and economic freedom for Maine’s citizens and taxpayers,” Dutson said. “MHPC is a national leader in the free market movement. I look forward to working closely with the staff and supporters of MHPC to build upon the Center’s achievements and educate policymakers and the public about proven, free market solutions that encourage a robust economy and a more open, accountable government.”
Dutson has been active in the public policy arena, both at the state and federal level. He served as online communications consultant for U.S. Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Communications Director for the Maine Republican Party, and, most recently, Communications Director for Maine Speaker of the House Robert Nutting. Lance has also been a key player in the growth of online media within the public policy sphere. As founder of one of Maine’s earliest political blogs, Maine Web Report, Dutson’s extensive work investigating improprieties within the Maine Office of Tourism resulted in the dismissal of that department’s director after 11 years in that position.
Lance has been featured on Fox News and New England Cable News, and has lectured on new media issues and politics at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the University of Maine at Orono, and at Harvard Law School in Cambridge.
In addition to overseeing MHPC’s existing initiatives, Dutson has identified a series of new priorities for the organization. Under his leadership, MHPC will build upon its success in exposing unethical waste of taxpayers’ dollars at the Maine Turnpike Authority and expand efforts to increase government accountability by identifying waste and mismanagement within the state’s bureaucracy. The Center will also innovate its outreach strategies to better educate Maine citizens and taxpayers about the politicians and policies impacting their jobs, families and communities.
“It’s time for a 21st Century Free Market Movement,” Dutson said. “The Maine Heritage Policy Center will become a leader in innovating outreach and analysis techniques, and use Web and technology-based strategies available to deliver our pro-growth, limited-government message across the state.”
“Lance’s keen understanding of Maine politics, his unique areas of expertise, and his proven ability to communicate complex issues to diverse audiences will make him an immediate asset to The Maine Heritage Policy Center and the free market movement as a whole,” MHPC Board Chairman Michael Duddy said. “Lance is a great leader and we look forward to his achievements on behalf of the organization and the citizens and taxpayers of Maine.”