Cecilia Muñoz

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Former Director of Domestic Policy Council, Obama Administration, Immigration Policy Expert, Author 

    College & University
    Inspiring Women
    Political Speakers
    Diversity⸒ Equity & Inclusion (DEI)
    Inspirational Stories
    Latinx & Hispanic Culture
    Women's Empowerment

    Cecilia Muñoz: Biography at a Glance

    • Cecilia Muñoz was a Senior Advisor to President Obama, making history as the first Latinx to lead the White House Domestic Policy Council.
    • As Obama’s domestic policy adviser, and in her previous role as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, Muñoz was instrumental in implementing policies to improve education, access to health care, jobs, and the economy for the Latino community.
    • Muñoz is the author of More than Ready: Be Strong and Be You....and Other Lessons for Women of Color on the Rise, an inspirational and informative memoir that is full of invaluable lessons and thoughtful insight about working through fear, facing down detractors, and leading with kindness
    • Washington’s leading expert on immigration policy, Muñoz was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship for her work on immigration and civil rights.



    Cecilia Muñoz is a national leader in public policy and public interest technology with three decades of experience in the non-profit sector and 8 years of service on President Obama’s senior team, including 5 years leading the White House Domestic Policy Council.  She serves as an advisor to several nonprofits and co-chairs the Office of American Possibilities, a civic moonshot factory that aims to solve public challenges across divides. Before working in government, she spent 20 years at the National Council of La Raza (now UNIDOS US), the nation’s largest Hispanic policy and advocacy organization. She is a trustee of the Kresge, MacArthur, and Joyce Foundations and serves on the boards of several nonprofit organizations. She published the award-winning More Than Ready: Be Strong and Be You...and Other Lessons for Women of Color on the Rise, which shares insights from her career as well as the careers of other notable women of color.


    An Inside Look at Public Policy arrow-down

    Muñoz has been a policymaker for three decades; she was the first Latina to lead the White House Domestic Policy Council, and served longer in that role than anyone in the nation’s history.  In addition to her expertise on immigration and civil rights, she is also expert in education, health care and a range of domestic policy issues. Preparing for a world of change, Muñoz is currently a Vice President at New America, where she is building strategies to address the ways that technology is changing everything from how we work to how we govern.  In particular, she is working to build a field of public interest technology.

    Ready to Lead: Women, Latinas and Women of Colorarrow-down

    The only woman of color in the room for much of her career, Muñoz has stories from the front lines that echo the experiences of other women of color. She describes strategies she deployed for beating back impostor syndrome when a top aide to the President suggested that she was a ‘diversity hire,’ or the time when a U.S. Senator complimented her on her English. Juggling work, life and family.  Muñoz talks about the strong traditional female role models she had in her mom and her aunts… and also the pressure to be a super-mom for her own kids while serving community and country. More than ready to lead, women of color will be the majority of women in America by 2060 according to Catalyst; they play crucial roles in the economy and the political system as entrepreneurs, as voters, and as community leaders.  The country is more than ready for what we bring, and we are more than ready to bring it. 

    Hispanic Heritage and The American Dreamarrow-down

    Muñoz spent two decades at the National Council of La Raza (now Unidos US) and can speak to the history and contributions of the nation’s Hispanic community as well as what they offer to the nation’s future. From the front lines of reform and policy implementation, Muñoz won a MacArthur “genius” award for her work on immigration and civil rights and is a frequent speaker on these topics. Her experience as a child of immigrants from Bolivia who raised their family in Michigan set her resolve to ensure that the doors of opportunity remain open to future generations to also achieve the American Dream. 

    Spirit of Service: Building Communityarrow-down

    On building community values across difference, Muñoz, a Michigan native from a conservative Congressional district, reflects on the Michigan neighbors who supported her family through her parents’ illnesses, while also supporting a President hostile to her family’s very presence in the country. A powerful voice for diversity and inclusion, Muñoz speaks about the value of having more women of color at the table. Decision makers in every sector are beginning to realize that when there aren’t women of color at the table where decisions are being made, they are missing talent and undercutting their capacity to understand their customers and the people they serve. But change is coming too slowly; success will take deliberate effort. Muñoz shares advice with audiences on how to build a stronger, more diverse community within their organization. She inspires younger generations to engage with their community, get involved in the debates that will directly affect their futures, and do their part to make this country and this world a better place for everyone. 

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