Molly Munger is a founding co-director of the Advancement Project, a public policy change organization rooted in the civil rights movement. Founded in 1999, Advancement Project’s offices in California (Los Angeles and Sacramento) and Washington D.C. work for large-scale systems change in the areas of voting rights, police reform and gang violence prevention, educational equity, and data-driven public resource allocation.
Molly brings an extensive background of legal expertise to the Advancement Project, including twenty years as a federal prosecutor and business litigator. Between 1994 and 1998, she served with her current law partner, Connie Rice, as Western Regional Counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Molly also served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, a partner in the all-women litigation firm Baird, Munger & Meyers, and a partner in the Los Angeles office of New York-based Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson.
In 2000, together with Advancement Project founding co-directors Connie Rice and Steve English, Molly led a coalition lawsuit, Godinez v. Davis, which won approximately $1 billion for new school construction in Los Angeles and other urban areas – representing the reclaiming of funds previously slated for less crowded, more affluent suburban school districts. Advancement Project was then instrumental in crafting and shepherding three school construction bond initiatives, raising $25 billion for new and renovated facilities throughout the state. As a result of these efforts, over 130 new schools were built in Los Angeles to relieve chronic overcrowding and over 1 million school spaces were created or renovated throughout California.
In recent years, Molly has become deeply involved in efforts to improve and expand early childhood education in California. Her work as part of the planning team for Los Angeles Universal Preschool in 2004 was critical to the development of thousands of preschool spaces that serve low income children in Los Angeles County. She also has spearheaded the founding of California’s Water Cooler network of early childhood advocates, bringing together stakeholders from across the state in quarterly convenings and hosting an annual conference that has, with the help of Susie Buffett, the David and Lucille Packard Foundation and others, become a national event in the early childhood world.
Molly is a graduate of Radcliffe College ‘70 and Harvard Law School ‘74. Over the past twenty years she has served on the boards of The James Irvine Foundation, Children Now, Occidental College and the Westridge School for Girls. She is a former member of the First 5 California Commission and a current member of the board of Southern California Public Radio.