2008-08-29 / Business News

Paterson Nominates ESD President And CEO

Governor David A. Paterson announced that he has nominated Marisa Lago, Global Head of Compliance at Citi Markets & Banking, as president and Chief Executive Officer of New York State's economic development agency, the Empire State Development Corporation (ESD).

He also nominated Dennis Mullen, president and CEO of the Greater Rochester Enterprise, Inc. (GRE), as upstate president of ESD.

"These two appointments will begin a new chapter for New York State," said Paterson. "Since its inception, Empire State Development has been a critical partner in bringing new business to New York and growing the successful companies that generate jobs and revenue for our state.

Along with the appointment of Robert Wilmers, the naming of Marisa Lago and Dennis Mullen will bring new vitality to our economic development mission."

Lago, who will be based in Manhattan and have complete oversight of economic development issues throughout New York, will work with ESD Chairman Robert Wilmers, who is based in Buffalo, to identify a new downstate president of ESD.

As the Global Head of Compliance for Citi Markets & Banking, Lago oversaw all compliance matters for Citi's capital markets, investment and corporate banking, and transaction services businesses, which operate in more than 90 countries around the world.

Prior to joining Citi Markets & Banking, she worked at the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as director of the Office of International Affairs.

Her diverse professional career has also included serving as Chief Economic Development Officer of the City of Boston and director of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, as well as general counsel of the New York City Economic Development Corporation.

Lago graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1982, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from Cooper Union.

As the upstate president of ESD, Dennis Mullen will be based in Rochester and oversee all upstate ESD offices and projects. Prior to Mullen's role in economic development, he worked for more than 28 years in the food industry in a number of senior leadership positions, most recently serving for a decade as the chairman, president and CEO of Birds Eye Foods.

He spearheaded an aggressive acquisition strategy which doubled the size of the company.

He also serves on the board of 11 local not-for-profit entities as well as two public companies. Mullen earned his Bachelor Degree in education from St. Leo University in Florida.

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