Governor Jan Brewer has named Vanessa Hickman the new Land Commissioner for the Arizona State Land Department, replacing outgoing Commissioner Maria Baier. Ms. Hickman [right, credit Rose Law Reporter] has served the Land Department as Deputy Commissioner since 2009. Previously, she was Deputy General Counsel to Governor Brewer (2009), and worked in private practice for the law firms of Withey Morris; Wilenchik & Bartness; and Wilcox & Wilcox.
“Vanessa is an experienced and talented real estate lawyer, and is a natural choice for this important role in my administration,” said Governor Jan Brewer. “I have the utmost confidence she will continue to serve the people of Arizona with great distinction in her new position.”
Maria recently announced she is departing the Land Department in order to accept a position as CEO of the Sonoran Institute. She served the State of Arizona as Land Commissioner since June 2009. During her tenure, she was responsible for the oversight of more than 9 million acres of state trust land, and led the Department’s auction of parcels in order to generate an estimated $560 million for the Trust – with public education as the single largest beneficiary. Maria also played a lead role in bringing renewable energy projects to the state, including implementing Arizona’s first renewable-energy mapping system and helping secure large-scale solar and wind projects.
“Maria has been a wonderful asset to my administration through her leadership of the Arizona State Land Department,” said Governor Brewer. “She has such a wealth of public policy experience, so I’m glad she will continue to positively impact the way in which Arizona grows and develops via her important work at the Sonoran Institute. I wish her all the best.”
The leadership transition for the Land Department is effective November 29, 2012.
[modified from the Governor's announcement]