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Wallace and Paquette promoted to new USM leadership roles

Two of the University of Southern Maine’s top administrators — Ainsley Wallace and Jeanne Paquette — have new roles working to strengthen community ties and better serve our students.

Wallace is the new president and CEO of the USM Foundation, an independent, nonprofit organization that supports USM in its mission of student success and community engagement.

She previously served in a dual role as USM’s vice president of corporate engagement and the Foundation’s vice president. She was instrumental in fueling the growth of community, alumni and employer engagement, helping to build support for a resurgent USM, both within and outside of the academic community. She established USM’s first employer relations team, and led the establishment of the MEMIC John T. Leonard Endowed Chair in Risk Management & Insurance, one of the largest in USM’s history.

Prior to coming to USM, Wallace’s previous experience includes directing major and planned gifts at United Way of Greater Portland, foundation relations at The Jackson Laboratory, and serving as a capital campaign consultant and as a nonprofit executive director.

“Ainsley can make a case for USM with the most powerful leaders of the state,” USM President Glenn Cummings said.

Paquette’s role was recently expanded to include the position of VP of Corporate Engagement. Prior coming to USM in the summer of 2017 as the executive director of Auxiliary Services, Paquette held top leadership positions in Maine government.

She served for five years as the commissioner of the Maine State Department of Labor. From 2011 to 2012, she served as deputy commissioner.

Along with many years as a human resources professional in the public and private sectors, Paquette founded a media company that included the Employment Times, My Job Wave and HR Times which was merged with the Sun Media Group in 2009.

"It was imperative that we fill the corporate engagement position with someone who brings the background and experience to continue to grow and strengthen our work with Maine businesses.  President Cummings said. "Jeanne has shown throughout her career she is the right person for this important role."

Paquette was eager to begin.

"I'm excited to start in this new position to help connect and integrate our students in a variety of  ways into Maine's much needed skilled and educated workforce," she said.