Marilynn Malerba Could Become First Native American US Treasurer

Marilynn Malerba Could Become First Native American US Treasurer

President Joe Biden announce his intention to appoint Marilynn Malerba as treasurer of the United States, which would make her the first Native American to hold the position.

Notably, the appointment would mark the first time a Native American woman's signature appears on the nation's currency.

Malerba, who has served as the lifetime chief of the Mohegan Tribe, would directly oversee the US Mint, Fort Knox, and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. She would also act as a liaison for the Federal Reserve. Additionally, Marilynn Malerba would head up the newly formed Office of Tribal and Native Affairs within the US Treasury, which will be in charge of Tribal relations across the Treasury Department.

She currently serves as a member of the Treasury Tribal Advisory Committee, which advises Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen 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,” the White House says.
“By elevating Native American leaders to the highest levels of our federal government, they are taking the right steps to put our history of ignoring, silencing, and denying the rights of Indigenous Peoples to rest,” Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, D-Ariz., chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, said in a statement. “Representation matters, but representation in leadership matters even more.”
Before becoming chief, Marilynn Malerba served as the chairwoman of the Tribal Council and also served in Tribal Government as Executive Director of Health and Human Services. Prior to that, she had worked as a registered nurse and served as the director of cardiology and pulmonary services at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital.
“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,” Marilynn Malerba said in a news release by the Treasury Department. “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.”

The role of treasurer has been vacant since Jovita Carranza left the position in January 2020. So one-dollar bills currently bear the signature of former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and it could take up to four or five months for the updated printing plates to reflect both Yellen and Marilynn Malerba's signatures, per The New York Times.


“Chief Marilynn Malerba will expand our unique relationship with Tribal nations, continuing our joint efforts to support the development of Tribal economies and economic opportunities for Tribal citizens,” Yellen said. “Importantly, we look forward to working with Tribal nations and Congress to make this office permanent so it will be there for decades to come.”

Last Updated on January 18, 2023 by Paul G

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