New York, Dec 21 (PTI) Vivek Malek, a 45-year-old Indian-origin attorney has been appointed as the first non-white treasurer of the US state of Missouri, according to an announcement made by Governor Mike Parson on Wednesday.

Malek, who moved from Rohtak in Haryana to what's called Missouri's Bootheel in 2002 to get his master's degree in business administration from Southeast Missouri State University, would replace fellow Republican Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick, who is leaving the position to become state auditor in January.

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"I am appointing Vivek Malek as the next State Treasurer of Missouri. Vivek's appointment will fill the vacancy created by the election of Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick to the Office of Missouri State Auditor," Parson said in a tweet.

Parson praised Malek's style of working.

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"The people's money is in good hands with Vivek. He understands the incredible responsibility and privilege it is to serve the people of Missouri and appreciates the importance of true public service," he said in his tweet.

Malek, who holds a bachelor's degree from Maharshi Dayanand University in Rohtak, also pursued a master of law from the University of Illinois College of Law in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois.

He began practicing law in 2006 and opened a law firm in 2011, the governor's office said in a statement.

Malek was recognised by the Missouri Senate (2015) and Missouri House (2007) for his service and contributions to Missouri communities.

Malek, who is a father of three children, said he would give his best to the people of Missouri.

"It is my honour of life to be able to serve as the next State Treasurer of the state of Missouri, and I promise to give the job and the people of Missouri all and best," Malek was quoted as saying in the statement.

In 2020, Governor Parson appointed Malek to the Southeast Missouri State University Board of Governors, where he has worked to promote fiscal responsibility.

He will resign his position on the Board of Governors prior to being sworn as State Treasures, the statement added.

As Parson instilled the responsibility of the State Treasurer in Malek, he showed his confidence in him.

"President Reagan once said immigrants are one of greatest sources of American greatness, and both Vivek and I agree. Through our shared values, Vivek helps legal immigrants embrace our nation and achieve their American Dreams too," he said.

"Over the years, I have come to know Vivek as an accomplished attorney, successful business owner, proud husband, and father, and someone who truly embodies the American dream," he added.

He was awarded the Minority Business Leader Award by the St Loui Business Journal in 2010, earned the Up and Coming lawyers Award by Missouri Lawyers Media in 2010, and was recognised as Top 30 under 30 by Business Today magazine in 2007, among other awards and recognition, the statement said.

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