Cecilia Munoz served in both the Obama and Biden administrations. She’s just released a book, titled, “More Than Ready: Be Strong and Be You and Other Lessons for Women of Color on the Rise.” Horizonte’s Jose Cardenas spoke with Cecilia Munoz about her new book.
“My parents were immigrants from Bolivia who came to the U.S. as newly weds and they came to Detroit so I am also a mid-westerner,” Munoz said.
She continued that whenever she speaks on her background she likes to mention is a “mid-west Latina because that’s a thing.”
Munoz spent her undergrad in Michigan and moved to the west coast for graduate school at University of California, Berkeley.
Once she started going to school in California she felt connected to not only the people but also the place names.
There was a much larger Latino community in this area and, “there was sort of a feeling of coming home in a way that was very profound and had a big impact on me,” Munoz said.
Munoz was among President Obama’s administration for 8 years. 3 years she spent doing inter-governmental affairs, where she managed the President’s relationships with state, local, and travel governments and then Munoz moved to his Domestic Policy Director for 5 years.
“It was an extraordinary experience, I was the highest ranking Latino person in the White House for all 8 years, I learned a lot and hopefully made a difference,” Munoz said.
The idea for this book started through Munoz’s own experience of being the only person like her in the room and being the first Latina to occupy the Director of Domestic Policy position.
What she found when speaking with other people for her book, many other women with similar backgrounds experienced very close things, but it’s never been talked about.
“I think it’s time to have that conversation,” Munoz said.