Biden Names Mohegan Chief Marilynn Malerba U.S. Treasurer, Marking First Native American To Hold Position
Last Tuesday, U.S. President Joe Biden announced his intent to appoint Marilynn Malerba, Chief of the Mohegan Tribe, to be Treasurer of the United States. Chief Malerba will be the first Native American to hold the position. As Treasurer, she will oversee the U.S. Mint, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and Fort Knox.
The Department of the Treasury also announced the establishment of a new Office of Tribal and Native Affairs, led by the Treasurer, to coordinate Tribal relations across the Department.
“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,” said Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in a Treasury Department press release. “Her leadership and experience will deepen our commitment to help expand economic opportunities for all Tribal communities.”
“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,” said Chief Lynn Malerba. “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.”
In addition to being the first Tribal Leader and Native American to serve as Treasurer, Malerba’s appointment will also mark the first time a Native American’s signature appears on U.S. currency.
“Congratulations to Chief Malerba on her appointment as the nation’s first Native American Treasurer,” said Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. “Her distinct qualifications as a Tribal leader and previous member of Treasury’s Tribal Advisory Committee lend vital expertise to her new role, particularly as Treasury continues rolling out significant American Rescue Plan resources for Native communities. Chief Malerba’s historic appointment affirms the administration’s ongoing commitment to empowering Native leadership at the highest levels of the federal government.”
“The appointment of Chief Lynn Malerba to serve as the first Native American Treasurer of the United States is significant,” added Indian Affairs Committee Vice Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). “I also welcome the creation of a new Office of Tribal and Native Affairs, which will allow Treasury to work with Tribes on issues across the Department’s portfolios. Last year, I introduced legislation to establish such an office at Treasury, which would facilitate Tribal relations. I look forward to the office engaging Native communities across the country, accounting for the diversity of these communities and their institutions.”
Marilynn Malerba is the Chief of the Mohegan Tribe, a lifetime appointment made by the Tribe’s Council of Elders. Prior to becoming Chief, she served as Chairwoman of the Mohegan Tribal Council, and served in Tribal Government as Executive Director of Health and Human Services. Prior to her work for the Mohegan Tribe, Malerba had a lengthy career as a registered nurse, ultimately serving as the Director of Cardiology and Pulmonary Services at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital. Additionally, Malerba currently serves as a member of the Treasury Tribal Advisory Committee, a seven-member committee advising the Secretary of the Treasury on significant matters related to the taxation of Indians, the training of Internal Revenue Service field agents, and the provisions of training and technical assistance to Native American financial officers.