Steve Rowe

Steve Rowe has had a varied career in the military, business, law, government, and philanthropy.  
After graduating from West Point in 1975, Steve was commissioned as an Army Infantry officer. He served six years on active duty. At his final duty station at Fort Bragg, NC, Steve met his future wife, Amanda, a fellow Army officer and pediatric nurse practitioner. They married, left active duty, and moved with Steve’s three young children (Angie, Chris, and Rob), to Maine. Both continued to serve in the Army Reserve. 
Steve’s first Maine job after arriving in Maine was as a marketing manager with Fairchild Semiconductor in South Portland. He next attended the University of Maine School of Law. During his first year of law school, Amanda gave birth to their daughter, Lindsay. 
After law school, Steve worked in Unum’s legal department, where he helped establish the company’s first pro bono legal program.  
In 1992 Steve was elected to the Maine House of Representatives. In his fourth term, Steve served as Speaker of the House. Among his proudest accomplishments was establishment of the Fund for a Healthy Maine. This fund captured and invested perpetual annual settlement payments from tobacco product manufacturers to improve the health of Maine people through tobacco prevention, childcare, educational home visits for new parents, substance abuse prevention, and prescription drugs for the elderly and disabled. Steve was also proud of helping create the landmark Maine Rx Program, which allowed the state to offer discounted prescription drugs to the poor and elderly. 
In 2000, Steve was elected Maine Attorney General and served in that position for eight years. As Attorney General, Steve represented Maine in the U.S. Supreme Court, successfully defending the Maine Rx program. He also successfully argued a Clean Water Act case in the Supreme Court, standing up for Maine river quality standards and Senator Muskie’s environmental legacy. While Attorney General, Steve chaired the Baxter State Park Authority and played an important role in ensuring Katahdin Lake was annexed as a wildlife sanctuary, thus fulfilling Percival Baxter’s 1921 vision for the park. Also, while Attorney General, Steve led efforts to authorize Maine courts to order defendants to relinquish firearms in temporary protection from abuse orders, to modernize the stalking statute, and to enhance investigation and prosecution of elder abuse.
Throughout his tenure in Maine government, Steve sought to bring about social, racial, economic, and environmental justice. He not only believed all people should have access to opportunities to realize the full potential of their lives, but he also actively sought to eliminate the barriers to opportunities.  He promoted access to quality early care and education, worked to reduce domestic violence and substance misuse, and made schools safer for students through Civil Rights Teams. 
After leaving state government, Steve joined the Verrill law firm. Two years later in 2010, he sought the Democrat nomination for Maine Governor. Steve ran for governor, in part, to continue to focus attention and leadership on systemic inequities based on factors such as education, socio-economic background, race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and immigrant status. Steve argued that these inequities limit individual opportunities as well as the state’s economic potential. 
Following his unsuccessful campaign, Steve was chosen as president of the Endowment for Health, New Hampshire’s largest health foundation. The following year Amanda had a recurrence of breast cancer and died. She had been more than Steve’s wife and life partner. She had also been his hero. 
In 2015, Steve became president of the Maine Community Foundation. He guided the foundation in developing a five-year strategic plan with programs and strategies to address a strong start for children, access to education, racial equity, thriving older people, and growth of entrepreneurship and innovation. He also guided work with the foundation’s partners-to broaden support for fighting climate change, conserving land, investing in high-speed internet access, and promoting racial equity. 
Steve retired in 2021 to spend more time with his children and grandchildren as well as to devote more time to his artwork. Over the years, Steve has served on several Maine non-profit boards - to include Pine Tree Legal Assistance. In retirement, he continues to volunteer - most recently as a volunteer lawyer for survivors of domestic violence.

Muskie Fund for Legal Services | P.O. Box 547, Portland, Maine 04112 | (207) 400-3279