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Last month, Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. took the helm of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as its executive director, appointed by New York Governor George Pataki. Ringler, who has worked in state government since 1996, previously served as first deputy to Secretary of State Alexander Treadwell. He was also executive deputy commissioner at the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, and most recently, New York’s Commissioner of General Services. Ringler replaced Joseph Seymour, who has retired. Meanwhile, James P. Fox, who was chief of staff for former New Jersey Governor James McGreevey, has been appointed Ringler’s deputy.

Former U.S. Representative Rick Lazio joined JP Morgan Chase as an executive vice president, in charge of the financial giant’s global government relations and public policy. Lazio served four consecutive terms in Congress from 1992 to 2000, representing New York’s 2nd District, which covers Long Island. Lazio helped pass the Financial Modernization Act of 1999, which makes it easier for financial firms to merge. He was also the author of a controversial law requiring unemployed public housing tenants to complete mandatory community service hours.

Hale House’s half-year national search for a top leader ended recently with the appointment of an internal candidate. Randolph McLaughlin, interim executive director since April, has been named executive director of the formerly infamous child welfare agency. A civil rights lawyer known for his successful lawsuit against the Ku Klux Klan in Tennessee in the 1980s, McLaughlin joined Hale House in 2001 as legal counsel to help clean up the troubles left by Lorraine Hale, daughter of the agency founder. Hale and her husband were charged with stealing more than $1 million from the agency when she was executive director; they pleaded guilty to the larceny charge in 2002. Hale’s successor, Lawrence Davenport, left for a job in Florida in April, after only 22 months in the post. McLaughlin said the agency would continue providing residential care for children of drug-addicted mothers, and expand its community services. Its first learning center, which will host 40 children, is slated to open in January. McLaughlin will continue to work part-time as a law professor at New York University.

The Board of Trustees of The Children’s Aid Society elected Angela Diaz as its new president. Diaz is a professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and director of Mount Sinai’s Adolescent Health Center. She is the first doctor and the second woman president in the 150-year history of the agency. Pediatrician Lisa Handwerker also joined The Children’s Aid Society as its new medical director. Handwerker was most recently medical director for the Threshold Center for Alternative Youth Services in Rochester.

Marjorie J. Hill, former assistant commissioner for HIV/AIDS Services at the city’s Department of Health, has left to work at Gay Men’s Health Crisis as director of its restructured Women’s Institute. The Department has started a national search for her replacement.

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