Lifetime Chief of the Mohegan Tribe Marilynn “Lynn” Malerba will be the first Native American to serve as U.S. Treasurer. The appointment was announced by President Joe Biden on Tuesday, and does not require the approval of the senate.
Malerba, the 18th Chief of the Mohegan Tribe – who is the first woman to serve as Chief in the Tribe’s modern history – will oversee the U.S. Mint, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and Fort Knox. Malerba will be a key liaison with the Federal Reserve, and will be Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s key advisor on community development and public engagement, according to a news release from the White House.
“I am honored and humbled by Secretary Yellen and the Biden Administration’s commitment to ensuring that all voices are heard byTreasury as we work together to create an equitable and just society,” Malerba said in a news release. “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.”
Chairman of the Mohegan Tribe James Gessner Jr. said in a statement that Malerba’s appointment is a well-deserved honor for her and for the Tribe. Gessner said Malerba has been a trailblazer in the Mohegan community as the first woman to serve as chief, and as the leader of the Tribe’s Health and Human Services agency.
“The Mohegan Tribe and its members have benefited tremendously from the leadership of Chief Lynn Malerba, and we are thrilled that she will now bring her expertise, energy, and compassion to the role of Treasurer of the United States,” Gessner said.
Gessner said Malerba’s appointment is “another positive step” by Biden’s administration to include Native Americans and ensure they have a seat at the table of the U.S. government.
As Treasurer, Malerba’s signature will appear on U.S. currency – the first time in U.S. history for a Tribal leader and Native American woman. Malerba will oversee a new office – the Office of Tribal and Native Affairs – which will serve as a hub for Tribal policy and for communicating with Tribal nations, according to the release.
Malerba has served on the Treasury Tribal Advisory Committee, which was established in 2015 to advise the Treasury Secretary on taxation of Native Americans, training IRS field agents, and providing training and technical assistance to Native American financial officers.
“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 Secretary Yellen. “Her leadership and experience will deepen our commitment to help expand economic opportunities for all Tribal communities.”
The Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act of 2011 — Public Law 112-166 , signed into law by President Barrack Obama, eliminated the need for Senate approval for 163 positions, including Treasurer of the United States.
This story has been updated to include comments from the Mohegan Tribe.