Obama names influential Latina, Cecilia Muñoz, to senior White House role
President Obama on Tuesday named Cecilia Muñoz, his top Latino outreach official, as the director of his Domestic Policy Council, a senior White House advisory position.
Muñoz has served as the White House’s Director of Intergovernmental Affairs since 2009 and has doubled as the president’s chief envoy to the Latino community on issues like the economy, education, and immigration reform.
“Over the past three years, Cecilia has been a trusted advisor who has demonstrated sound judgment day in and day out,” Obama said in a statement. “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.”
The appointment comes during in an election year in which Obama plans to rely on Latinos as a key element of his political base. And Muñoz’s name carries heavy weight in the Latino community.
Before coming to the White House, she served as a senior vice president at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the nation’s largest Latino advocacy group. The move could also signal that Obama plans to take up the immigration issue if he’s reelected. Muñoz is the daughter of Bolivian immigrants to the U.S. and has long championed the cause.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) criticized the hiring, saying that it violated Obama’s pledge to keep lobbyists out of his administration. Muñoz worked as a lobbyist for NCLR.
Muñoz replaces Melody Barnes, who left her position late last year.
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