Topic: Cecilia Munoz

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Cecilia Muñoz (b. July 27, 1962) is a civil rights advocate. She works as Senior Vice President for the Office of Research, Advocacy and Legislation at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), a nonprofit organization established to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans, overseeing legislative activities that cover issues of importance to immigrants and minorities. President Barack Obama chose Muñoz to succeed Elizabeth Dial as the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs. In July 2000, she was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow.

Muñoz was born in Detroit, Michigan the youngest of four children. Her parents had moved to the United States from La Paz, Bolivia, so that her father, an automotive engineer, could go to the University of Michigan. When she was three, the family moved to Livonia, a middle-class, predominantly white Detroit suburb. Muñoz attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. As a volunteer, she worked as a tutor to Hispanic American inmates at the state prison in nearby Jackson. She earned undergraduate degrees in English and Latin American studies in 1984. Following graduation, Muñoz continued her education at the University of California at Berkeley, where she earned a master's degree.

Muñoz is married to Amit Pandya, a human rights lawyer; the couple has two daughters.

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