Cecilia Munoz, a key proponent of U.S. immigration reform in the Obama administration, has been promoted to the director of the Domestic Policy Council.
The daughter of Bolivian immigrants, Munoz’s approach to immigration services has always been at a grassroots, civil rights level. A 2000 MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” recipient, Munoz was vice president of the National Council of La Raza, the United States’ largest civil rights organization that works to provide better opportunities for Hispanics, before coming to the White House. Prior to her new position, Munoz was Obama’s director of intergovernmental affairs, working with White House officials, governors and tribal leaders to foster sound education, healthcare and immigration policies.
As a former lobbyist, Munoz’s appointment to her new post in the White House is one of the few exceptions that President Obama has made on his campaign promise to hinder the ability of lobbyists to enter government so freely. Obama allowed Munoz to take her new post by signing a waiver permitting her to become the director, according to ABC News.
“Over the past three years, Cecilia has been a trusted adviser who has demonstrated sound judgment day in and day out,” Obama said. “Cecilia has done an extraordinary job working on behalf of middle-class families, and I’m confident she’ll bring the same unwavering dedication to her new position.”
While the appointment of a female Latina will likely provide a positive role model for immigrant girls from Spanish-speaking countries, Munoz has downplayed her role as one of the most powerful Hispanic leaders in the United States. She has said her career, “is about making sure the doors are open in this country for everybody.”