Ducey appoints outgoing Regents president as state treasurer

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Eileen Klein is expected to be the next state treasurer. (Source: Arizona Board of Regents) Eileen Klein is expected to be the next state treasurer. (Source: Arizona Board of Regents)

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Tuesday appointed the executive who has overseen the state's three public universities since 2013 as state treasurer.

Ducey named outgoing Board of Regents President Eileen Klein to replace Jeff DeWit, who stepped down to become NASA's chief financial officer.

[READ MORE: Jeff DeWit confirmed as CFO of NASA, ends tenure as Arizona state treasurer]

The Republican governor called Klein the "most experienced person in the state of Arizona for this job."

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.

[MORE: AZ Treasurer nominated for position at NASA]

"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 is working on detailed reports and transition documents as the Regents search for her replacement.

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Klein was previously former Gov. Jan. Brewer's chief of staff and budget director and worked a health care industry executive. She also oversaw the $5.1 billion Arizona public university enterprise.

The treasurer is an elected post and manages the state's $13 billion investment portfolio and day-to-day finances.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona politics]

"Eileen has been a critical leader in shaping and building our state's economy for years," said Ducey, who served as treasurer from 2011 to 2015. "She has both the knowledge and leadership experience to ensure Arizona's portfolio is responsibly managed."

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