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Outgoing Arizona Board of Regents head appointed as state treasurer

(Twitter/@9thFloorAZ)

PHOENIX — The outgoing head of the Arizona Board of Regents has been appointed as state treasurer, Gov. Doug Ducey announced Tuesday.

Eileen Klein, who also worked as a former director to the Governor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting and as the chief of staff to former Gov. Jan Brewer, was sworn in by Arizona Court of Appeals Judge Jim Beene.

“I am honored to appoint Eileen Klein as our new state treasurer,” Ducey said in a statement.

“As someone who served as state treasurer, I understand the importance and complexities of this role. I can say with certainty, Eileen is the most qualified person in the state of Arizona for this job.”

Klein said in a statement that she will take the responsibility of managing taxpayer dollars “very seriously.”

Klein announced she was planning to step down as Regents president last month, but she remains under a transitional contract at her $320,000 annual salary.

She said she would subtract her $70,000 salary as treasurer until the contract ends.

“While that’s not necessarily required by my contract with the Regents, I feel strongly for the integrity of the office and on behalf of the taxpayers that I don’t want any doubt about my payments and my commitments during this term,” she said.

She was working on detailed reports and transition documents as the Regents search for her replacement.

The Arizona Board of Regents said in a statement that Klein’s “exceptional background of leadership in the state of Arizona coupled with her passion for public service will truly benefit” the state.

The state treasurer position was left vacant after Jeff DeWit was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as NASA’s chief financial officer last month.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.