Cecelia Munoz Appointed New White House Domestic Policy Council Director

Cecilia Munoz will replace Melody Barnes as head of the White House Domestic Policy Council.

President Obama has named Cecilia Muñoz, currently director of Intergovernmental Affairs, as the new director of the Domestic Policy Council. Munoz, who has been a key liaison between the Obama administration and the Latino community, will replace Melody Barnes, who resigned in December.


“Over the past three years, Cecilia has been a trusted adviser who has demonstrated sound judgment day in and day out,” said President Obama. “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.”


Muñoz’s elevation will be applauded by Latino voters, whom Obama is counting on for strong support in his re-election bid. And although that community has sometimes criticized the administration for not aggressively pursuing immigration reform, particularly the Dream Act, her appointment may be viewed as a sign that the president is still committed to their issues.


As director of Intergovernmental Affairs, Muñoz served as a link between federal, state, local and tribal governments. Before coming to the White House, Munoz was a senior vice president for the Office of Research, Advocacy and Legislation at the National Council of La Raza, the nation’s largest Latino civil rights organization, working on many of the same issues she will focus on in her new position, including employment, education, health and housing.


Muñoz is the daughter of Bolivian immigrants and in 2000 won a MacArthur Foundation “genius” fellowship, in recognition of her work on immigration and civil rights.


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