Cutler Institute

Terry Shehata Ph.D.

Senior Policy Associate for Research and Economic Development & Coordinator of the Maine Economic Improvement Fund

Office Location

314 Wishcamper Center, Portland Campus




I have been involved in economic development over the past 30 years, and specifically on building the state’s science and technology infrastructure. Following my postdoctoral work, I was fortunate to be the first Maine State Toxicologist from 1982 to 1985.

To further my education and experience, I left Maine to become the Director of Environmental Health at the New Jersey Department of Health from 1985 to 1988, where I learned much about environmental health, and was actively involved in researching the health impact of human waste and HIV syringes that were illegal disposed of off New Jersey beaches.

I returned to Maine in the spring of 1988 to accept the position of Associate Director of the Maine Science and Technology Board and then the Vice President of the Maine Science and Technology Foundation.  In this capacity, I coordinated the Maine EPSCoR Program and the development of the state’s first Science and Technology Plan.  I also managed several of the Industry innovation centers that were established and funded by the Foundation.

Separate from my work at USM, since 2001, I have been the Executive Director of the Maine Space Grant Consortium, an affiliate of a national network of state-based consortia supported by NASA’s National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program.  The Consortium is a separate 501(c)(3) corporation, the only non-profit corporation in the national network of state-based consortia which are housed in universities. The Consortium competitively funds small faculty seed research grants, development of undergraduate curriculum that injects STEM research, scientific ballooning activities, undergraduate internships at NASA research centers, K-12 teacher projects, and high school internships.

From 2001 to 2011, I worked for a small national lean manufacturing and supply chain consulting firm.  In 2011, I left the firm and accepted a position at the University of Southern Maine in the Office of Research Administration and Development. One of my responsibilities was to support efforts to strengthen the university’s research competitiveness.

Areas of Expertise

  • Research Infrastructure
  • Development Economic
  • Development Workforce
  • Development Grant Writing
  • Ph.D., Animal Nutrition (Specialization in Biochemistry), University of Maine, 1981
  • B.S. in Zoology, University of Maine, 1976 H.S. Diploma, Orono High School, 1972
  • John B. Pierce Laboratory, Perinatal Toxicology Postdoctoral fellowship, 1981-1982
  • U.S.E.P.A., AAAS/USEPA Environmental Fellow, Summer 1985

Professional Activity

  • Member, Maine Innovation Economy Advisory Board
  • Member, Maine STEM Collaborative
  • Member, the North Atlantic-Arctic Research and Education Consortium
  • Member, USM Economic Development Planning Committee
  • Member, USM Research Capacity Advisory Committee
  • Member, Greater Portland Council of Governments "Moonshot" Group