Governor’s Nominees for Adjutant General and Commissioner of Department of Environmental Protection Are Confirmed

January 20, 2016

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, January 20, 2016 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage’s nominees for Adjutant General and Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection have been unanimously confirmed by the Maine Senate.

Colonel Douglas A. Farnham was confirmed as Adjutant General, the supreme military officer of the state and Commissioner of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management (DVEM).

Paul Mercer was confirmed as the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

For the past three years, Col. Farnham has served as the Wing Commander of the 101st Air Refueling Wing in Bangor, known as the “MAINEiacs.” A graduate of Brewer High School and the United States Air Force Academy, he holds an MBA from Chapman University and has 31 years of military service.

Commissioned in 1984 as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, he served as primary pilot for CINC U.S. Space Command, a C-21A pilot, a flight examiner and ground school instructor for pilots of C-21, C-12 and C-9 aircraft. As a pilot of a KC-135E aerial refueling aircraft in the Air Guard, he was activated for Operation Noble Eagle, a mission to support homeland security in response to the September 11 attacks. He also served as a KC-135 evaluator pilot, full-time Air Guard technician, 132nd Air Refueling Squadron Operations Officer, Chief of Wing Plans.

In 2005-06, Colonel Farnham served as commander of 132nd Air Refueling Squadron. From 2006-12, he served as Operation Group Commander, 101st Air Refueling Wing, then from 2012 to present as Wing Commander, 101st Air Refueling Wing.

He is also president and fourth-generation owner of Getchell Bros. Inc., a family-owned packaged ice company in business since 1888, and has been active in local civic organizations.

Paul Mercer worked at Maine Maritime Academy since 2006 and 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.

Paul 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.