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Brewer names new land commissioner

Land Department Commissioner Maria Baier, GIS Manager Gary Irish and GIS Project Manager Ryan Johnson.  (File Photo by Evan Wyloge/Arizona Capitol Times)

Former Land Department Commissioner Maria Baier, GIS Manager Gary Irish and GIS Project Manager Ryan Johnson. (File Photo by Evan Wyloge/Arizona Capitol Times)

Gov. Jan Brewer appointed Vanessa Hickman as the Arizona State Land Department’s new commissioner.

Hickman had already been slated to serve as acting commissioner after Maria Baier announced last week that she would leave the Land Department to become chief executive officer of the Tucson-based Sonoran Institute. A spokesman for Brewer said at the time that Hickman would serve as acting commissioner if a full-time replacement wasn’t chosen by the time Baier left.

Hickman, who has served as deputy commissioner since 2009, will officially take over on Nov. 29.

“Vanessa is an experienced and talented real estate lawyer, and is a natural choice for this important role in my administration,” Brewer said in a press statement on Tuesday. “I have the utmost confidence she will continue to serve the people of Arizona with great distinction in her new position.”

Prior to joining the Land Department, Hickman served as Brewer’s deputy general counsel. Before joining the Brewer administration, Hickman worked in private practice at several law firms.

Brewer on Tuesday also announced that Gerrie Marks will the permanent director at the Arizona Department of Insurance. Marks was appointed acting director in June.

“Gerrie has played a critical role in the guidance and leadership of the Department of Insurance, and I’m confident she’ll continue to serve the citizens of Arizona well,” Brewer said in her press statement. “Her legal expertise, knowledge of the Department and familiarity with the challenges facing Arizona insurers and consumers leave her well-suited to serve the State of Arizona in this capacity.”

 

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