Published on Jun 21, 2022
Today, President Biden announced his historic intent to appoint Chief Marilynn Malerba of the Mohegan Tribe as the first-ever Native American to serve as Treasurer of the United States. In this role, she will oversee the U.S. Mint, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Fort Knox, as well as be a key liaison with the Federal Reserve. Chief Malerba will serve as senior advisor to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in the areas of community development and public engagement.
In addition, the U.S Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen announced the creation of a new Office of Tribal and Native Affairs, which will also be led by Chief Malerba, to coordinate tribal relations across the entire Department. The establishment of the Office of Tribal and Native Affairs delivers on a long-standing request from Indian Country to ensure that Tribal Nations are fully incorporated throughout the Department’s policy development and implementation.
Chief Malerba brings an extraordinary amount of experience and expertise to the role of Treasurer of the United States and lead of the new Office of Tribal and Native Affairs. As the first female Chief in the Mohegan Tribe’s modern history, she has served on tribal, national, and regional boards and advisory committees advancing tribal sovereignty, economic development, and health care in Indian Country. Most recently, Chief Malerba served as the Chairwoman of the Indian Health Service Tribal Self-Governance Advisory Committee, a member of the Treasury Tribal Advisory Committee, and as the Board Secretary of the United South and Eastern Tribes (USET) and the USET Sovereignty Protection Fund.
“NCAI enthusiastically applauds President Biden’s choice in appointing Chief Malerba to serve as Treasurer of the United States and lead the new Office of Tribal and Native Affairs,” said National Congress of American Indians President Fawn Sharp. “There is much work to be done to enhance economic development opportunities, achieve governmental tax parity for Tribal Nations, and address Indian Country’s capital needs. The creation of this office and Chief Malerba’s pending appointment are truly historic and positive steps toward these goals. The importance of Native American leadership, partnership, and representation within the Department of the Treasury cannot be overstated. We commend the President’s choice and congratulate Chief Malerba, who will no doubt work in equal and direct partnership with Tribal Nations to support our vision for building thriving tribal economies. We look forward to her continued bold leadership and success as Treasurer.”
In March 2020, the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures held a hearing on “Examining the Impact of the Tax Code on Native American Tribes,” which discussed the issues facing Tribal Nations in building tribally-driven economies. This hearing highlighted the importance of empowering Tribal Nations and their work with policymakers to support Indian Country’s taxation and economic development priorities. The establishment of the Office of Tribal and Native Affairs is a testament to the Biden-Harris Administration’s responsiveness to tribal priorities and will play a critical role in carrying these important issues throughout the U.S. Treasury.