Cape Elizabeth, Maine , United States
|| July 29, 1946
Sep 01, 2011 12:58am
|Info||Eliot learned about the value and importance of public service from his parents. In addition to raising three sons, his mother, Catherine (Kay) Cutler, devoted herself to improving family services and mental health care and to protecting women and children from domestic violence and abuse. His father, Dr. Lawrence (Larry) Cutler, was a much loved and highly respected family doctor who had a passion for improving public education, serving as chairman of the Bangor School Board and as a member and as president of the board of trustees of the University of Maine for two decades. |
Eliot has carried on his family’s tradition of public service. Following his graduation from Harvard College, he worked in Washington, D.C., for Senator Edmund S. Muskie of Maine, helping Sen. Muskie craft the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and other laws important to Maine.
He later served as Associate Director for Natural Resources, Energy and Science in the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), where he was responsible for overseeing the policies and budgets of the Departments of Agriculture, Energy and Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency. Eliot’s job was to make the tough decisions about how tax dollars were spent – to cut out programs that weren’t working, to reshape others and to force necessary changes in government priorities.
Eliot also was the principal White House official for energy matters from 1977 to 1980, and at President Carter’s request, he helped negotiate a settlement to the Maine Indian Land Claims dispute. No stranger to politics, Eliot also has been a senior official in four presidential campaigns.
Eliot also knows what it’s like to start a business and meet a payroll. Following his government service, he founded the law firm of Cutler & Stanfield, which grew under his leadership to be the second largest environmental and land use law firm in the United States. Eliot and the firm worked mainly with cities, towns and counties in nearly 30 states on major projects involving airports, highways and other major facilities. He is credited with developing and implementing the legal and political strategy that led to the development of the Denver International Airport, the only new commercial airport built in the United States for decades and one of the most successful airports in the world.
Following his firm’s merger with a larger firm in 2000, Eliot’s law practice became increasingly international. He lived in Beijing for more than two years, opening the firm’s first office in China and developing valuable relationships in the world’s fastest growing economy.
Eliot also has been a successful businessman and entrepreneur. He has been an owner of a manufacturing company, a business advisor to one of the world’s largest construction companies (and its first American director), a director of a mortgage company, and a founder and trustee of a highly regarded family of mutual funds.
Eliot returned to Maine for good in 1999, and he lives in Cape Elizabeth with his wife Dr. Melanie Stewart Cutler. Eliot and Melanie have been married for 36 years, and their family includes three grown children – Abby (29), Zack (26) and Katherine (22).
Eliot was chairman of the board of visitors of the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine for nearly a decade, until November, 2009, and he helped lead the School to its position as one of the leading graduate schools of public policy in the United States.
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