Press release

Gulf of Maine Research Institute Announces Leadership Transition

Don Perkins will retire as President and Chief Executive Officer after a successor is named.

PORTLAND, Maine — October 13, 2022 — On Thursday, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute announced succession plans for their longtime President and Chief Executive Officer, Don Perkins. After 28 years of service, Perkins intends to retire as part of a long-term succession plan supported by the organization’s Board of Directors.

Perkins will continue to serve in his current role until a successor is named. The organization has retained executive search firm Spencer Stuart to carry out a national search, which is set to begin in November. Based on previous experience managing executive leadership transitions, Board leaders involved in the search are confident in the process and expect to have the next CEO in place by the summer of 2023.

“We applaud Don for his thoughtful approach to this transition and thank him for his excellent leadership in the foundation and growth of this institution,” said GMRI Board Chair and Sea Bags President Beth Greenlaw. “We will miss Don’s stewardship and, at the same time, we’re excited about the opportunities this brings for the organization to continue to thrive under new leadership.”

Under Perkins’ leadership, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute has grown from an organization of two to a world-class research institute with a staff of nearly 100 internationally recognized research scientists, seafood supply chain and fisheries experts, climate change leaders, and skilled science educators. Among many other contributions, the institute was the first to identify the Gulf of Maine as one of the fastest-warming ocean ecosystems on earth and is now contributing solutions to climate challenges from the local to the global scale.

“The stability and strength of the organization at this moment make for ideal timing for this transition,” said Perkins. “Our commitment and discipline to our mission will endure throughout and beyond this transition, as will our service to our many stakeholders. We aim to find a successor with the experience and skills to carry on this important work.”

About the Gulf of Maine Research Institute:

The Gulf of Maine Research Institute develops and delivers collaborative solutions to global ocean challenges. Located in Portland, ME, the institute is dedicated to the resilience of the Gulf of Maine ecosystem and the communities that depend on it. For more information, visit


President CEO pictured smiling in the third-floor hallway at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute's lab

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