Yellen is First Female Treasury Secretary With Signature on U.S. Dollar

“I have no plans to leave,” Ms. Yellen said, adding that she is excited about carrying out President Biden’s agenda.

The job could soon become more challenging. Republicans, who are assuming control of the House of Representatives, have made clear they plan an aggressive array of investigations into the Biden administration’s policies, including its efforts to beef up the Internal Revenue Service.

Ms. Yellen will play a leading role in those efforts, overseeing an $80 billion revamp of the tax agency. Her department will also have to navigate enactment of a climate and energy law that has angered the European Union and contains tax measures that will be devised at the Treasury Department. And Ms. Yellen will face the challenge of holding together an international push to impose crushing sanctions on Russia without causing additional inflationary blowback.

The delay in getting Ms. Yellen’s signature on the greenback stemmed from the White House’s slow process for choosing a U.S. treasurer. By tradition, the treasurer must sign the money along with the Treasury secretary. Both signatures are engraved onto plates at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, where they are printed and submitted to the Federal Reserve, which determines what currency will be added to circulation.

Mr. Biden finally appointed Ms. Malerba in June. The role, which does not require Senate confirmation, includes overseeing the U.S. Mint, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and Fort Knox.

The unveiling of the Treasury secretary’s signature on new currency is traditionally a moment of some intrigue and fanfare.

At Mr. Mnuchin’s ceremony in 2017, he posed with a sheet of uncut $1 notes with his wife, Louise Linton. The images went viral, with Mr. Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs banker, drawing comparisons to a Bond villain.

During her conversation with Mr. Colbert, Ms. Yellen recalled that Mr. Lew’s signature appeared to be eight circles that were connected and that the penmanship of his predecessor, Timothy F. Geithner, also proved to be illegible. Both, she said, had to be redone.