After a thorough, competitive search, the Board of Directors of the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting announced the appointment of Micaela Schweitzer-Bluhm, a retired U.S. Foreign Service Officer, as the new executive director of MCPIR/The Maine Monitor.
Schweitzer-Bluhm, a resident of Belfast, brings 26 years of experience representing the United States around the world, leading U.S. diplomatic teams, and advancing U.S. principles of democratic governance, most importantly, the importance of a free and vibrant press.
She most recently led the U.S. Department of State Recruitment Division, building the next generation of U.S. diplomats.
Schweitzer-Bluhm spent most of her career in the Middle East and Southeast Europe and served as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Skopje, North Macedonia, and at the U.S. embassies in Zagreb, Cairo, Baghdad, Tunis and Kathmandu and at the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem, where she led the Public Affairs Section and was the Consulate Spokesperson for four years.
Schweitzer-Bluhm was drawn to the mission of MCPIR/The Maine Monitor to deliver independent, fact-based journalism to inform Mainers about the issues impacting our state and to support the efforts of news organizations across Maine by providing free, original Monitor content and by amplifying local, Maine reporting in the Monitor’s daily newsletter.
“In my diplomatic career, I advocated for independent journalism around the world and saw how an absence of independent and investigative reporting can leave citizens vulnerable and harm a society,” Schweitzer-Bluhm commented. “I’m honored and excited to support the hard-working, award-winning Monitor journalists and to help lead the Monitor to grow and play an even greater role in shoring up independent, local journalism in Maine and keeping Maine citizens informed and ready to advocate for themselves and their communities.”
Schweitzer-Bluhm, who starts her job today, succeeds interim executive director Renée Johansson and joins David Dahl, a veteran journalist who joined the Monitor in April as editor and who leads the newsroom and takes part in strategic planning for the organization.
Schweitzer-Bluhm is eager to connect with the many Monitor supporters, who make it possible for the Monitor to bring important stories such as Samantha Hogan’s series on infringements on attorney-client privacy in Maine, Kate Cough’s informative weekly climate report and Rose Lundy’s coverage of nursing home shortages and nursing care.
She looks forward to engaging donors and readers across the state, hearing from them about how the Monitor can serve them, and building the Monitor’s operation and impact. (Have a thought to share with Micaela? Leave a comment here.)
“I am thrilled to welcome Micaela to our team,” said Jed Davis, president of the MCPIR Board of Directors. “Independent, nonprofit, non-partisan investigative journalism is more necessary than it has ever been if we are going to save our democracy. We could not have a more qualified person than Micaela as our Executive Director.”
Schweitzer-Bluhm holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Brown University and a master’s degree in National Security Studies from the National War College. A native of southern New England, Schweitzer-Bluhm and her family have called Maine home since 2017. When not avidly devouring news reporting, you might find Schweitzer-Bluhm and her family sailing in Penobscot Bay, hitting the ski slopes across Maine, or hiking new paths with their two rescue dogs, Becca and Zoki.