Policy Leaders Academy

Experiential training for Maine’s legislators

Policy Leaders Academy is a non-partisan educational program of the Maine Development Foundation for Maine Legislators on the Maine economy. This program has delivered high quality, objective and non-partisan experiential training to legislators since 1985. The program is open and free for all Maine Legislators.

Program participants learn about the fundamentals of the Maine economy and the factors that drive long-term growth. Participants learn how their public policy decisions affect the growth and investment strategies of Maine’s for-profit businesses and organizations. They learn this through interacting directly with business, non-profit, education and community leaders throughout Maine.

Policy Leaders Academy is a program of the Maine Development Foundation, with strong financial and personnel support from several prominent Maine Foundations and Organizations committed to a prosperous and thriving state.

Our partners include:

  • Maine Legislative Council
  • Maine Chamber of Commerce
  • University of Maine 
  • Maine Community Foundation
  • Maine Health Access Foundation
  • Educate Maine
  • University of Maine System


Policy Leaders Academy 2019 Bus Tour

Wednesday, January 9th to Friday, January 11th
The Legislative Bus Tour is a key component of the Policy Leaders Academy Program and brings legislators face to face with businesses, nonprofits, and communities facing an array of opportunities and challenges. This year’s bus tour will focus on Western Maine, featuring stops in Lewiston/Auburn, Farmington, Skowhegan and points in between. Buses will depart from the Maine State House in Augusta at noon on January 9th and return to the same location late afternoon on January 11th. This event is free of charge – all lodging and meals are included. Please note this event is for LEGISLATORS ONLY; we are unable to accommodate guests or family members.

Building Trust through Civil Discourse ‐ A workshop on civility for legislators, by legislators

Wednesday, January 23rd, 8:00AM to 12:30PM The Senator Inn
Is civility an abstract notion or is it a code of conduct that can be applied to the political and policymaking process? How can we all become better practitioners to improve civility in our legislatures? How do we set aside personal attacks and rebuild trust after a season of negative campaigning? Please join former Ohio State Representative Ted Celeste and his colleagues from the National Institute for Civil Discourse for a highly interactive workshop designed to support state legislators who want to promote greater understanding and better decision making.

Legislative Policy Forum on Health Care

Wednesday, January 30th, 7:45 – 11:30AM The Senator Inn
Health care, a leading concern nationally and in Maine, as well as a major element of the state budget, will clearly be a top priority in the 129th Legislature. This forum will offer an overview of key issues and highlight major opportunities and challenges for the biennium. The tentative agenda includes the following core elements:

  • Health care coverage and access, including MaineCare and the private insurance market
  • Recommendations from the 128th legislature’s Health Care Coverage for All of Maine Task Force
  • Innovation highlights from other states
  • Panel discussion including diverse stakeholder perspectives on the issues

“The trip proved that as Mainers we can create so much when given resources and inspiration. I’m grateful for the chance to have made meaningful connections with so many hardworking, visionary people – not just the leaders of our tours and talks, but also my fellow Legislators, hailing from all parties and parts of our state, joking, chatting, and eating lunch alongside me on the bus.” 

State Representative Vicki Doudera (D-Rockport)