Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Parson appoints political newcomer as state treasurer

By Jason Hancock
Gov. Mike Parson has named Vivek Malek to serve as state treasurer, the first Indian American to hold a statewide office in Missouri.

Malek, 45, will replace Republican Scott Fitzpatrick, who was elected state auditor in November.

“We interviewed a lot of great candidates for state treasurer, all of which have promising and rewarding careers ahead of them, and will continue to serve Missouri well,” Parson said Tuesday. “One man rose above the others.”

Melek has been practicing law since 2000 and has practiced law in Missouri since 2006. His St. Louis law firm focuses on immigration, naturalization and asylum.

Parson previously appointed Malek to the Board of Regents for his alma mater, Southeast Missouri State University, in 2020. He has been an occasional Republican donor over the years, including to Parson, but has never held public office.

“It is the honor of my life to be asked to be Missouri’s next state treasurer, and I will give this position by all, as I have with everything I have done,” Melek said Tuesday.

Melek has deep ties to the Cape Girardeau area, where he came in 2001 from Rohtak, India to attend college. He earned two masters degrees, in business and law, and currently lives in Wildwood with his wife, Riju, and three children, Naija, Viraj, and Myra.

“I can attest with strong conviction that the American Dream is alive and well, because I have lived it right here in Missouri,” he said.

The state treasurer manages $1 billion in unclaimed property, manages a small business and agriculture economic development program and administers the state’s tax-advantaged education and disability savings plans.

The treasurer also sits on various boards, such as the Missouri Housing Development Commission.

“The people’s money is in good hands with Vivek,” Parson said. “Vivek understands the incredible responsibility and privilege it is to serve the people in Missouri and appreciates the importance of a true public servant.”

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