From Presque Isle to Portland: The State Department's Impact on Maine

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A rugged coastline with the words "State4States" and "Maine"
#State4States: The Department of State has direct impact on the state of Maine

From Presque Isle to Portland: The State Department's Impact on Maine

On behalf of the American people, the State Department promotes and demonstrates democratic values and advances a free, peaceful, and prosperous world. By leading America’s foreign policy through diplomacy, advocacy, and assistance, the Department keeps the American people safe both at home and abroad and advances our shared economic prosperity. The State Department directly impacts the “Pine Tree State” of Maine through military partnerships, specialized training in investigating and prosecuting criminal actors, and through academic exchange. 

First, the State Department facilitates the Maine National Guard’s State Partnership Program (SPP) with Montenegro, founded in 2006. The State Partnership Program links a state’s National Guard with the armed forces or equivalent of a partner country in a cooperative, mutually beneficial relationship. Through the SPP, the Maine National Guard conducts military-to-military engagements with Montenegrin counterparts in support of defense security goals. The SPP has become a key U.S. security cooperation tool, facilitating collaboration across all aspects of international civil-military affairs and encouraging people-to-people ties at the state level.  

Secondly, the State Department supports the Department of Justice’s Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance, and Training (ODPAT) by sending federal prosecutors overseas to bolster the abilities of foreign counterparts to investigate and prosecute criminal organizations before their criminal activities reach the United States. ODPAT specializes in justice sector capacity building, with an emphasis on combatting terrorism and transnational crime. With funding from the State Department, a federal prosecutor from Maine was deployed to Senegal to serve as a Resident Legal Advisor responsible for providing specialized training and mentoring related to fundamental justice reform, combatting prolonged pre-trial detention, and terrorism-related investigations and prosecutions. Programs like this one not only foster information-sharing, but keep the United States safer and more secure as criminal activities are potentially halted before reaching the U.S. 

Finally, the State Department impacts Maine through the most widely recognized and prestigious international exchange program in the world: the Fulbright Program. From its inception, the Fulbright Program has fostered bilateral relationships in which other countries and governments work with the U.S. to set joint priorities and shape the program to meet shared needs. The fundamental principles of international partnership and mutual understanding remain at the core of the Program’s mission. More than 380,000 “Fulbrighters” have participated in the Program since its inception more than 70 years ago, and the Program operates in over 160 countries worldwide. In the 2017-2018 academic year, 48 Fulbright Scholars, Students, and Teachers from Maine were awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, and 9 international students received a Fulbright to study in Maine. These exchanges build our people-to-people relationships, and foster mutual understanding between Mainers and the international community. 

From Presque Isle to Portland, the State Department impacts Maine’s communities through military partnerships, academic exchanges, and training programs that keep the United States safe. And Mainers, in return, impact communities around the globe. 

Find out more about the Department of State's impact in American communities at Department of State by State

Editor's Note: This entry also appears in the U.S. Department of State's publication on Medium.

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