Governor Nominates Cabinet-Level Positions

December 22, 2015

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

Nominees named for Adjutant General, DOE and DEP Commissioners

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage announced today several Cabinet-level nominations, including Adjutant General and Commissioners for the Department of Education and Department of Environmental Protection.

Governor LePage has selected Brigadier General Gerard F. Bolduc to serve as Maine’s next Adjutant General. The Adjutant General is the supreme military officer of the state and concurrently serves as Commissioner of Defense, Veterans, and Emergency Management (DVEM).

Brig. Gen. Bolduc has served as the Acting Adjutant General for the State of Maine since March, 2015. Prior to March, Brig. Gen. Bolduc served as the Commander of the Maine Air National Guard and the Assistant Adjutant General, Air at the Joint Force Headquarters, Maine Air National Guard at Camp Keyes, Augusta. In that role, he was responsible for the combat readiness and mission capability of an Air Refueling Wing and two Geographically Separated Units. He was also responsible for the command, control and operations of plans and programs affecting more than 1,100 Maine Air National Guard personnel. Since becoming Acting Adjutant General, Brig Gen Bolduc has played an active role in status of forces planning at the Maine Army and Air National Guard and has overseen the work of the Bureau of Veterans Services and the Maine Emergency Management Agency.

Brig. Gen. Bolduc joined the Air Force and was commissioned in March 1982 through the Academy of Military Science, Knoxville, Tenn. After completion of navigator training, he was assigned to Bangor Air National Guard Base. He served in numerous operations and maintenance assignments and held squadron, group and vice wing command positions.

Earlier today, Governor LePage notified the chair of the Maine State Board of Education, Martha Harris, of his decision to nominate Dr. William Beardsley to be Commissioner of the Maine Department of Education (DOE), pending that 10-member board’s evaluation of the candidate. Dr. Beardsley serves currently as Acting Commissioner and has previously served as Commissioner for the Maine Department of Conservation.

While most gubernatorial commissioner appointments go directly to the legislative committee of jurisdiction, Maine statute requires the State Board of Education, which Dr. Beardsley served on until October 2015, have an opportunity to meet and interview the Governor’s nomination for Education Commissioner.

Beardsley served as President and CEO of Husson University for 22 years and also served on and has chaired numerous boards, including the Maine Development Foundation, Finance Authority of Maine, Maine Higher Education Council, Maine Independent College Association and Maine Development Foundation. Most recently, he served on the Maine State Board of Education and on the Maine Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Council.

Beardsley earned his bachelor's degree in economics from Earlham College in Indiana and his doctorate from Johns Hopkins University. He completed the Harvard Institute for Educational Management Program.

Governor LePage also nominated Paul Mercer as the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Mercer has worked at Maine Maritime Academy since 2006 and has held positions as Associate Professor and Department Chair within the Engineering Department. At the Academy, he has also served as a member of the senior leadership team as the Assistant to the President for Sustainability, where he led the recent Strategic Planning process, among other efforts. Mercer has used this role to promote innovation and environmental initiatives at the Academy.

Mercer has an extensive background in environmental issues. He has worked with renewable energy development, solid fuels and biomass energy systems throughout the United States and Canada. This included acting as the lead developer of an energy project resulting in a 50 percent reduction of emissions at the Bucksport paper mill.

Additionally, Mercer was president of Northeast Engineering in Bucksport from 1983 until 2008. The company provided a full range of consulting services to the power generation field, as well as project development of waste wood, biofuels, de-inking and wood products facilities. He also served as president of Bay Engineering from 1978 until 1982.

Mercer earned a bachelor’s degree in Marine Engineering from Maine Maritime Academy.