Dianne Tilton has served as Executive Director of the Downeast Institute in Beals since 2015, helping a
team of devoted and passionate people work to sustain commercial fisheries through research,
innovation, and education. Incorporated 25 years ago, the Downeast Institute serves as the Marine
Science Field Station of the University of Maine at Machias.
Dianne has worked for and with nonprofits for over 30 years and spent 13 years as the founding
Executive Director of the Sunrise County Economic Council in Machias. During that time, she served as a
founding and long-term board member of the Downeast Institute. She was a member of the Maine
House of Representatives from 2008 to 2012. She served on the Joint Standing Committee on Marine
Resources, the Joint Select Committee on Maine’s Energy Future, and the Joint Select Committee on
She is a native of Harrington, Maine, receiving her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Maine (’81).
She has had numerous education and professional achievements including her participation in 2009 in
the Emerging Political Leaders Program at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.
She was a member of Leadership Maine’s Epsilon Class, and the Washington County Leadership
Institute’s Alpha Class. Her awards and recognitions include MaineBiz “Next” List (citizen’s shaping
Maine’s economic future), the Deborah Morton Award (University of New England award for
Outstanding Maine Women), the Kenneth M. Curtis Leadership Award (Maine Development
Foundation), Maine Public Administrator of the Year (ME Chapter of the American Society for Public
Administration), and Economic Developer of the Year (Finance Authority of Maine – FAME).
In her spare time, Dianne serves on UMM’s Board of Visitors and other volunteer boards and spends
time with her children and grandchildren.