Governor Mills Appoints Donna Loring Senior Advisor on Tribal Affairs

Augusta, MAINE - Governor Janet Mills announced today she has appointed Donna Loring, former Penobscot Tribal Council member, as Senior Advisor on Tribal Affairs to the Governor.

“As a veteran, police chief, representative, nonprofit leader, and Penobscot Tribal Council member, Donna Loring has served her country and our state for more than fifty years. She is a trusted, experienced voice for Maine’s Native people. I look forward to working with her on critical issues facing our state, including health care, the opioid epidemic and economic development,” said Governor Mills. “It is time to heal the divisions of our past and bring the State and Maine’s tribal nations together to build a new future shaped by mutual trust and respect.”

“I am honored for the opportunity to work alongside Governor Mills to accomplish our shared goal of creating a new relationship between the tribes and state government,” said Donna Loring. “Native people are a fundamental part of Maine communities and now, with this appointment, we have an opportunity to create a pathway forward with state government. I look forward to working with the governor and the tribes to make progress on issues facing Maine’s Native families.”

As Senior Advisor on Tribal Affairs, Loring will be the official liaison between the Governor’s Office and the tribal governments, advise the Governor, make recommendations on various tribal-related matters, and serve as a resource on tribal affairs for Executive Branch departments at the direction of the Governor, among other duties.

Donna Loring, 70, began her long career in public service in 1966 when, as a teenager, she enlisted in the Women’s Army Corp and was stationed near Saigon during the Vietnam war. After her years of military service, Loring returned home and graduated from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy (MCJA). Loring then served as police chief for the Penobscot Nation from 1984 to 1990, becoming the first woman MCJA graduate to serve as a police chief in Maine. During that time, she earned a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Maine. The University also later awarded Loring an honorary doctorate in 2017.

Loring served as the elected representative of the Penobscot Nation for twelve years in the Maine State Legislature. Loring wrote and published a memoir in 2008 about her experiences in the state Legislature entitled In the Shadow of the Eagle. After her service in the state Legislature, Loring joined the University of Southern Maine as coordinator of Indian student affairs and launched her own nonprofit Seven Eagles Media to advance the interests of Maine’s Native people. Prior to joining Governor Mills’ office, Loring most recently served on the twelve-member Penobscot Tribal Council. Loring lives in Bradley, Maine.