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EDISON, NJ-Virginia Bauer has re-entered the private sector, departing her post as CEO and secretary of the New Jersey Commerce, Economic Growth and Tourism Commission for the position of vice president of public affairs for Mack-Cali Realty Corp., based here. She had held the state post since late 2004, and prior to that served as director of the New Jersey Lottery.

Bauer’s role will be to “seek business opportunities for the company, utilizing her background in economic development and working with corporate leaders throughout the tri-state region,” says a statement issued by the company. “We are very fortunate that upon leaving state government, she has chosen to join us and help us grow,” says Mitchell E. Hersh, Mack-Cali’s president/CEO, to whom she will report.

A former financial planning and account management exec with Merrill Lynch, Bauer first gained public prominence as an activist on behalf of families of 9/11 victims following the death of her husband in the World Trade Center attacks. As Commerce CEO/secretary, she was credited with strengthening the state’s business attraction and retention programs, including managing the urban enterprise zone program.

Besides her new duties with Mack-Cali, Bauer continues to serve as a commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a post to which she was appointed earlier this year by Gov. Jon Corzine.

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