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Yellen says Biden to appoint first Native American as U.S. Treasurer

Kitco News

ROSEBUD, South Dakota, June 21 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Tuesday will announce the appointment of Mohegan Indian Tribe Lifetime Chief Marilynn Malerba as U.S. Treasurer, marking the first time a Native American's signature will appear on U.S. currency, the Treasury said.

Yellen, during a visit to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, also will announce the creation of a new Treasury Office of Tribal and Native Affairs, which will report to the treasurer.

Malerba's appointment by President Joe Biden also will allow Yellen's signature to be added to the U.S. currency, as this was prohibited without a U.S. treasurer in place. Dollar notes have been printed since Yellen took office last year with former Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin's signature on them.

The treasurer position has been vacant since January 2020, when Jovita Carranza left to become Small Business Administrator in the Trump administration. Malerba's appointment needs no confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

"With this announcement, we are making an even deeper commitment to Indian Country," Yellen said in prepared remarks to be delivered at the Rosebud Sioux reservation. "Chief 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."

Malerba, who had a lengthy career as a registered nurse, has been chief of the Connecticut-based Mohegan tribe since 2010 and previously chaired its tribal council and served as its executive director of Health and Human Services, according to the Mohegan website.

The Treasury said Malerba will join Yellen at the Rosebud Sioux reservation on Tuesday, where Yellen will discuss the impact of some $20 billion in state and local fiscal recovery funds on tribal governments.

(This story corrects to show that treasurer position is an appointment, not a nomination)

Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Bradley Perrett
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