Biden to appoint first Native American to serve as treasurer

President Biden is set to announce the appointment of Lynn Malerba, the lifetime chief of the Mohegan Tribe, as the first Native American to serve as U.S. treasurer. 

In a statement, the Treasury Department said that Malerba, who previously served in the department’s Tribal Advisory Committee, will also oversee the Office of Tribal and Native Affairs, a newly established office that will directly communicate with tribal nations and be the hub for tribal policy. 

Her name will be the first signature seen on U.S. currency belonging to a Native woman and tribal leader in the nation’s history.

Malerba will also oversee the U.S. Mint and Fort Knox and will work closely with the Federal Reserve as a liaison.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who will be the first Treasury secretary to visit a reservation when she travels to the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota on Tuesday, congratulated Malerba, noting that her appointment will be beneficial for the economic opportunities in the tribal community. 

“I am deeply honored that Chief Malerba will serve as the nation’s Treasurer and spearhead the department’s new Office of Tribal and Native Affairs. This is an historic appointment,” Yellen said in a statement.”

The Treasury created a “tribal team” last year as part of an effort to improve relations with tribal nations and help administer $30 billion in programs directed to tribes as part of the American Rescue Plan in an effort to combat the pandemic.

Malerba, who in 2010 became the first woman to serve as the chief of her tribe, expressed her gratitude for being appointed as the country’s new treasurer. 

“I am honored and humbled by Secretary Yellen and the Biden Administration’s commitment to ensuring that all voices are heard by Treasury as we work together to create an equitable and just society,” Malerba said in a statement. 

“It is especially important that our Native voices are respected. This appointment underscores this Administration’s commitment to doing just that. I am excited to serve our communities as Treasurer and for the work ahead.”

Tags American Rescue Plan Biden Chief Lynn Malerba Department of the Treasury Janet Yellen Janet Yellen Native American tribes Native Americans in the United States President Biden the department of Treasury US Treasury Department

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