A native of Morrill, Maine, Mike graduated from Tilton School (NH) in 1968. He received his A.B. degree in History/International Relations from Bowdoin College in 1972. Following a year of graduate study in public and international affairs at George Washington University, he joined the staff of then-Congressman William S. Cohen of Maine. From 1973-1980 he served in the House and Senate as Cohen’s legislative assistant for national security and marine issues. In October, 1980, he was appointed Executive Assistant to Senator George J. Mitchell of Maine, for whom he focused on defense and foreign policy issues.
In October, 1984 Mike left Capitol Hill to work in Africa as an administrator for CRS, the overseas development and relief agency of the U.S. catholic community. Between 1984 and 1991, he directed development and disaster relief activities for CRS in Kenya, Tanzania, Togo and The Gambia.
From 1991 to 1992 Mike was the Desk Officer for Ethiopia, Eastern and Southern Africa at CRS World Headquarters in Baltimore. He then returned to Maine to work for the Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center, a non-profit “center of excellence” that promotes economic development. He led MAIC for thirteen years.
In 2004, Mike was hired by the University of Maine to be Director of Research & Sponsored Programs. Between 1992 and 2007, he has also served on numerous civic boards and institutions including the Maine Fishermen’s Forum, the Maine Oil Spill Advisory Committee and the Maine Sea Grant Policy Advisory Committee (both of which he chaired), the Maine Indian Tribal State Commission, and the Down East Institute.
Mike was elected three times to the town council of Hampden, Maine. He is married to Sharyn Leary Hastings, a retired middle school Social studies teacher. Mike and Sharyn have two adult sons, Timothy and Peter, both of whom work in the hospitality industry. Timothy manages restaurants in Denver, Colorado. Peter and his wife own and operate the Acadia Hotel on Mt. Desert Street, four doors down from the Jesup.