Laurie Osher, Ph.D.

Laurie Osher, is a Scientist and Activist, and is in her second term in the Maine House, representing the majority of Orono.

She serves on the legislature’s Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee and is the legislature’s representative to the ME HIV Advisory Committee.  She one of the leaders of the legislature’s Progressive Women’s Caucus, leads the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, and helped organize the Circle & Star (Jewish & Muslim) Caucus.Laurie moved to Maine in 1999 to be a faculty member at the University of Maine in Orono after earning a PhD in Soil Science at the University of California, Berkeley and working as a Research Associate with the EPA. Prior to that, she worked for the US Forest Service, USAID, and the USDA Soil Conservation Service.

Outside of the legislature, she is the Community Resilience Specialist at Eastern Maine Development Corporation. In this capacity, she assists communities in Penobscot, Aroostook and Piscataquis Counties to be more resilient to climate change and extreme weather events. She serves on the boards of the Maine Jewish Film Festival and A Wider Bridge and previously served on the Orono Town Council and on the Boards of Congregation Beth El in Bangor and Maine Interfaith Power and Light.

In the legislature, her successes this session include sponsoring LD2130: the bill prohibiting unauthorized paramilitary training, LD1243: the bill that created a State Calendar that recognizes holidays of minority religions, and LD1642: the bill to strengthen the teaching of Wabanaki Studies. All were signed into law by Governor Mills this spring. She partnered with others this session on laws to create harm reduction healthcare centers, to protect providers of gender-affirming care, to address the back-log of rape test kits, to increase legislative pay, and to provide educational opportunities for adults with disabilities.

Originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Laurie lived in Israel as a teen and then earned her BS from Cornell University and her MS from North Carolina State University. She is the proud parent of the talented identical twins: actor Noam Osher and music composer Zivi Osher.