Dr. Shakira Munden is a senior program officer with the AIR Equity Initiative. In this role, Dr. Munden leads the Justice in Public Safety and Policing, Workforce Development, and co-leads the Scholars and Leaders Awards grant program. The Justice in Public Safety and Policing grant focuses on generating evidence in collaboration with stakeholders to reduce harmful policing and build alternative public safety systems. The Workforce Development funding is committed to uncovering the most effective strategies and partnerships to build an equitable 21st century workforce development ecosystem, particularly for those that have been most isolated from opportunity. The Scholars and Leaders grant aims to expand the diversity of project leads informing research, technical assistance, and systems change at AIR. Dr. Munden engages with stakeholders and research and technical assistance practitioners to cultivate data-informed narratives and partnerships in support of AIR’s mission.
Dr. Munden brings over 15 years of experience leveraging leadership, capacity-building, technical assistance, and research to the AIR Equity Initiative. She has applied her knowledge across multiple sectors--including non-profit, government, and higher education--towards addressing inequities by redefining organizational perspectives, policies, and practices.
Prior to joining AIR, Dr. Munden worked for WETA/PBS NewsHour, one of the leading non-profit public media organizations in the nation, as their first Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. In addition, Dr. Munden managed multi-million-dollar grants for Goodwill Industries International and James City County, VA. In this capacity she worked to address a wide-range of justice issues including re-entry services, workforce development, gender-based violence, recidivism, and community-partnerships. Her work in this area built upon her role as a former criminal justice planner for the Commonwealth of Virginia. She has held the rank of adjunct assistant professor; served as a national partner for the Culture of Health Leadership under the National Collaborative for Health Equity examining the truth, racial healing, and transformation framework; and acted as a national grant reviewer for the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Office of Justice Programs. She has developed multi-year strategic plans and public safety content and trainings; launched coalition groups; and presented research findings before members of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Dr. Munden’s scholarly research has examined qualitative conversations surrounding intersectionality, representation, and disproportionate minority confinement matters which emphasize phenomenological relevance in nullifying institutionalized barriers for historically marginalized communities. She earned an Ed.D. from Northeastern University specializing in Organizational Leadership and Communications with an emphasis on intersectionality issues;