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The board of directors of the Detroit Land Bank Authority has hired a new executive director, a former Detroiter named Saskia Thompson, the organization announced Monday.

Thompson was hired “after a national search,” according to a statement from the land bank.

In Philadelphia, Thompson had served as deputy finance director since 2011, and sat on the city’s planning commission, in addition to serving as executive director of Philly’s Office of Property Data.

Thompson also served as a public policy assistant to then-Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer from January 2000 through the end of Archer's tenure in December 2001.

Thompson is a Cass Technical High School graduate with a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Michigan.

In the statement, Thompson said she is “thrilled at the opportunity to come back to my hometown,” and called this “a time of real possibility for Detroit neighborhoods.” Her start date is not yet finalized, but she's expected to start work sometime in early September.

jdickson@detroitnews.com

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