Dr. Malerba became the eighteenth Chief of the Mohegan Tribe on August 15, 2010, and is the first female Chief in the tribe’s modern history. The position is a lifetime appointment made by the tribe’s Council of Elders. Dr. Malerba follows in the footsteps of many strong role models in the Mohegan Tribe, including her mother, Loretta Roberge, who holds the position of Tribal Nonner (elder female of respect), as well as her great-grandfather, Chief Matagha (Burrill Fielding). Prior to becoming Chief, she served as Chairwoman of the Tribal Council and served in tribal government as Executive Director of Health and Human Services.
Preceding her work for the Mohegan Tribe, Dr. Malerba had a lengthy career as a registered nurse, ultimately as the Director of Cardiology and Pulmonary Services at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital. She earned a doctorate of nursing practice at Yale University and was named a Jonas Nurse Scholar. She holds an honorary doctorate from the University of St. Joseph in West Hartford, Connecticut, and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Connecticut.
Dr. Malerba is Chairwoman of the Tribal Self-Governance Advisory Committee of the federal Indian Health Service (IHS), a member of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Tribal Nations Leadership Council, a member of the Tribal Advisory Committee for the National Institute of Health, a member of the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Tribal Advisory Committee, Secretary of the United South & Eastern Tribes Board of Directors, and a member of the Board of Directors for the Ms. Foundation for Women. Locally, she serves as a Trustee for Chelsea Groton Bank, a Board member for the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, and an Advisory Committee member for the Harvard University Native American Program and served on the Board of Directors for Lawrence + Memorial Hospital for 11 years.
Dr. Malerba published “The Effects of Sequestration on Indian Health Funding” in the Hastings Center Report in 2013 and authored two chapters in American Indian Health and Nursing (edited by Margaret P. Moss, Springer Publishing Company) in 2015.
Dr. Malerba lives in Niantic with her husband, Paul. They have two adult daughters, Elizabeth and Angela, and a granddaughter, Taylor.