Policy, Planning, and Management

MPPM Advisory Board

Jim Bennet

City Manager, Biddeford

Steph Carver

Senior Planner, Greater Portland Council of Governments (GPCOG)

Dr. Charlie Colgan

Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Peter Crichton

City Manager, Auburn

Amy Lamontagne

Assistant Town Manager, Falmouth

Jeff Levine

Faculty Lecturer, MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning; Owner, Levine Planning Strategies, LLC

Jeff Levine, AICP, is an urban planner who has worked in New England for 25 years. Currently, he is the Owner and Principal of Levine Planning Strategies, a small consulting firm that specializes in bridging the gap between the development community and city planners. He is also a faculty member of the Department of Urban Studies & Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

From 2012 to 2019, Levine was the Director of Planning & Urban Development for the City of Portland. In Portland, he oversaw the development of a new Comprehensive Plan (https://PortlandsPlan.me) and developed a set of tools to increase the development of low-income and workforce housing. These tools included development of an inclusionary zoning program for both residential and hospitality developments; creation of a sustainable Local Housing Trust; and land use ordinance changes to allow developers of affordable housing to build along the nodes and corridors selected in Portland's Plan for infill development. In addition to this work, he was part of the team that incorporated placemaking and public art elements into the reconstruction of Woodfords Corner. He also serves on the Greater Portland METRO Board of Directors.

Prior to working in Portland, Levine worked in the City of Somerville (MA), where he developed plans for the redevelopment of the Assembly Square district into a new, mixed-use neighborhood centered on a new rapid transit station, as well as for extension of an existing light rail line through the city. He also served as the Director of Planning & Community Development for the Town of Brookline (MA) where he worked on several affordable housing developments, including the redevelopment of the Kennedy family church into a mixed income housing development with new public open spaces.

Jeff has a Masters in Planning from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs and a Bachelors of Arts from Wesleyan University. He lives in the Deering Center neighborhood of Portland, with his wife and two kids, who are in the Portland Public Schools.


Will Mitchell

GIS professional and entrepreneur, NBT Solutions and Mitchell Geographics

Dr. Lisa Pohlmann

Executive Director, Natural Resources Council of Maine

Lisa Pohlmann is the CEO of the Natural Resources Council of Maine. NRCM is Maine’s leading environmental
advocacy organization with more than 25,000 members and supporters in Maine and beyond. Started by Maine people in 1959, NRCM is based in Augusta, is actively engaged in policy making, and works statewide to protect Maine's woods, waters and wildlife. Lisa has worked at and led advocacy oganizations throughout her 40-year career in Maine. She has a PhD from the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine. Lisa has had a lifelong love of the outdoors, and regularly kayaks, hikes, skis, and camps across Maine.


Amanda Rector

Maine State Economist, Department of Administrative and Financial Services

Amanda Rector is the State Economist for Maine. In this capacity, she conducts ongoing analysis of Maine's economic and demographic conditions to help inform policy decisions. Amanda is a member of the State of Maine’s Revenue Forecasting Committee and serves as the Governor’s liaison to the U.S. Census Bureau. She started working for the state in 2004 and has been State Economist since 2011.

She earned a BA in Economics from Wellesley College and a Master's degree in Public Policy and Management from the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine. She is also a graduate of the Leadership Maine program and serves on the advisory board for the New England Public Policy Center at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

Amanda is originally from mid-coast Maine and now lives in Union with her family.


Hon. Margaret "Peggy" Rotundo

Director of Policy and Strategic Initiatives, Bates College Harward Center for Community Partnerships

Nicole Witherbee

Chief Program Officer, John T. Gorman Foundation

Nicole is the Chief Program Officer at the John T. Gorman Foundation. In this role, she directs the Foundation’s programs, research, and evaluation. She has a Ph.D. in Social Policy from the Heller School of Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. Before coming to the Foundation, Nicole founded and ran a consulting firm that advised clients on policy matters. Her previous work experience also included analyzing federal budget impacts for the Maine Center for Economic Policy, directing policy for the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, acting as the Interim Government Affairs Director for the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, tenant organizing for the Central Mass Housing Alliance, and lobbying for the Coalition to Preserve Affordable Housing. Nicole has taught courses at the University of Southern Maine, Salem State and Bates College.

During her years in public policy, Nicole performed research, policy analysis and evaluation, lobbied, and built alliances to help forge stronger advocacy efforts. She has written and presented on a diverse array of topics.

Nicole also sits on the Federal Bank of Boston New England Community Development Advisory Council, the Advisory Council for the Muskie Schools’ Public Policy and Planning Master’s Degree Program, Co-Chairs the United Way of Greater Portland’s Women United Council and is a Corporator at Gorham Savings Bank. In 2008, Nicole was named one of the next ten people most likely to shape Maine’s economy by Mainebiz Magazine.