Retired Air Force Colonel Alice Briones Senior Airman Christopher Quail – 436th Airlift Wing

A retired Air Force colonel will become Maine’s next chief medical examiner, Gov. Janet Mills announced Friday.

Dr. Alice Briones, the first woman to lead the U.S. Armed Forces Medical Examiner System, replaces Dr. Mark Flomenbaum as the state’s top medical examiner. Flomenbaum retired in December after a controversial tenure.

Briones joined the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner this week and will work part-time until her family relocates to Maine in June. The medical examiner’s office investigates sudden, unexpected and violent deaths.

“With experience leading the world’s only global medical examiner system, Dr. Briones is incredibly qualified to serve as Maine’s next Chief Medical Examiner,” Mills said in a statement.

Briones is a native of Hampden and graduate of the University of Maine.

“I am looking forward to bringing my family back to Maine, giving back to Maine, and continuing the great forensic practices already established within the Maine Office of the Chief Medical Examiner,” Briones said in a statement.


As director of AFMES – the only worldwide medical examiner system – Briones was responsible for overseeing more than 300 military and civilian personnel who provide the Department of Defense and other federal agencies with forensic investigative services.

Briones enlisted in the Army as a combat medic  in 1990. After earning a degree in clinical laboratory medicine and certification as a medical technologist from the University of Maine in 1994, she was commissioned in the Air Force as a biomedical sciences corps laboratory officer.

During her time in the Air Force, she served as assistant chief of lab operations and section commander at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, and chief of lab operations at Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts.

Briones completed a residency in clinical and anatomic pathology at the University of Rochester Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York, in 2009, and a Forensic Pathology Fellowship with the New Mexico Office of the Medical Examiner in 2010.

Briones became a junior deputy medical examiner with AFMES in 2010, then moved on to become the director of the Department of Defense Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory. She was named deputy chief Armed Forces medical examiner in 2017 before being promoted to serve as the first female chief in 2020.

“Gov. Mills has recruited and secured an extremely talented candidate for this critical role,” Attorney General Aaron Frey said in a statement. “Dr. Briones will make an exceptional new chief and we are grateful to have her serving the people of Maine.”


Since Flomenbaum’s retirement, the medical examiner’s office has been relying primarily on the deputy chief medical examiner, Liam Funte. An outside medical examiner was also hired to cover several days a month.

Flomenbaum had served as chief medical examiner since his appointment by then-Gov. Paul LePage in 2014. Under his leadership, the office was named one of the best in the country by the National Association of Medical Examiners, which issued a full accreditation in 2018.

But during his time with the office, Flomenbaum was reprimanded by Mills for an inappropriate gift he gave a departing employee, criticized for his side business as a consultant in out-of-state deaths, accused of joking about dead Mainers in a job posting, and had his testimony ruled “not credible” by a Connecticut judge.

Flomenbaum had notified the governor’s office that he did not want to be reappointed to the post when his term expired in June 2021 and agreed to stay on until a new medical examiner was chosen.

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: