Most public servants are in agreement, it’s not about the money. Yet Anna Cabral MPA2 1990 will tell you otherwise — and with good reason. She is the United States treasurer. Reporting directly to the secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Cabral takes the issue of U.S. currency to heart, using her position to build a safer, smarter, more balanced America. Cabral visited the Kennedy School this past spring and later spoke to the Bulletin.
Describe the responsibilities of the U.S. treasurer.
To provide recommendation and counsel around coins and dollars. I work closely with the counterfeiting agencies, and the Secret Service, as well as educate the public about any changes we’ve made to U.S. currency.
What motivated you to focus on reducing poverty?
Because I grew up pretty poor, to give you an honest answer. I think it makes a difference to address this issue and for us to be aware that, as we improve the quality of life for those within this country, it will help us to succeed as a nation.
In what ways have you addressed poverty while in office?
Everything I do touches that topic, both directly and indirectly. [One example is] counterfeit money issues, which are directly related to the poor. Unfortunately, the last person who has a bill in his or her hands loses. It is especially important to educate immigrants, who in many cases tend to be lower-income.
It sounds like educating the public plays an important role within your profession.
Yes. Increasingly, jobs require greater education. Everything we do encourages people to…take advantage of their best opportunities so they can reap the benefits the United States has to offer.