Missouri governor taps political newcomer to serve as next state treasurer

Vivek Malek will be the first person of color to hold a statewide office in Missouri

By: - December 20, 2022 3:11 pm

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson appointed Vivek Malek as state treasurer on Dec. 20, 2022 (screenshot).

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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Jason Hancock
Jason Hancock

Jason Hancock has spent two decades covering politics and policy for news organizations across the Midwest, with most of that time focused on the Missouri statehouse as a reporter for The Kansas City Star. A three-time National Headliner Award winner, he helped launch The Missouri Independent in October 2020.