BAR HARBOR — The Maine Council on Aging (MCOA) elected a new chairman of its board of directors on Oct. 19. Leah Graham, manager of external and government affairs for The Jackson Laboratory, assumed the role after a unanimous vote of her peers during the October MCOA board meeting.
Graham was a postdoctoral fellow at The Jackson Laboratory, focusing on immune response and vascular remodeling in aging and dementias, before assuming her current position as manager of government affairs. She holds a doctorate in genetics from Tufts University and a bachelor’s degree from Ithaca College. Graham has served on the MCOA Board of Directors since 2018 and will remain in her role as board chairman for two years.
“As a scientist and researcher who focuses on communicating the importance of science and research related to healthy aging to policy makers and the public, Leah is an outstanding advocate for older Mainers, and an excellent choice to help lead the MCOA into its exciting next phase,” said Jess Maurer, executive director of the Maine Council on Aging. “Whether it is responding to the current COVID-19 crisis or finding a cure for Alzheimer’s and dementia, partners like Leah and The Jackson Laboratory are pivotal in making sure we can all live healthy lives as we age in Maine.”
Graham will succeed Mary Jane Richards, chief operating officer for North Country Associates, who will remain in a leadership role on the board.
“It’s critical that researchers and scientists be a part of the collaborative processes that are building stronger Maine communities and changing systems to support healthy aging,” said Graham, when asked why she’s taking on a leadership role of a policy organization focused on healthy aging. “Our engagement with organizations like the MCOA informs and strengthens our work and helps to build broader support for the MCOA’s vision.”