Muneer Karcher-Ramos joined McKnight in March 2024 as Vibrant & Equitable Communities (Communities) program director. The Communities program works to advance a vibrant future for all Minnesotans with shared power, prosperity, and participation.

Muneer brings more than 15 years of experience working in and with communities to create greater opportunity for many residents in our region and beyond. Muneer plays a pivotal role in supporting Minnesota communities, collaborating with diverse stakeholders locally and nationally, and strengthening McKnight’s ability to advance durable, people-centered systems change. As program director, he stewards strong, integrated programming to champion racial and economic justice across Minnesota.

Throughout his career, Muneer secured $100+ million in private, public, and philanthropic investments towards education, housing, and economic justice. He has worked to reimagine financial systems, support grassroots movement organizing, elevate worker- and community ownership, and lead cross-sector programming and policy initiatives.

He joins McKnight from the Office of Financial Empowerment at the City of Saint Paul, where he was the founding director since 2019. Under his guidance, the city introduced transformative and nationally acclaimed initiatives to increase economic opportunity and shared ownership. These included CollegeBound Saint Paul —a children’s asset building program that has enrolled 13,000 babies and accumulated $3 million in college savings and the subsequent nationally-recognized “CollegeBound Boost” income asset demonstration project. Under his leadership, the City launched other innovative efforts including the Medical Debt Reset Initiative that’s poised to relieve $110 million in medical debt, the People’s Prosperity Pilot, and multiple guaranteed income demonstration projects. Additionally, he established the $2.5 million LOCAL Fund, supporting community wealth building by bolstering worker cooperatives and advancing shared ownership of commercial real estate.

Prior to his role with the city, Muneer served as executive director for the Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood, a cross-sector cradle-to-career education initiative focused on culturally responsive approaches. He led a strategy to deploy over $2 million in annual community investments, and designed The People’s Fellowship, a public-private wealth and asset-building initiative focused on Black communities in Saint Paul. He also helped move a housing pilot to a statewide policy focused on housing hundreds of highly mobile and unsheltered families with children across Minnesota.

Muneer is currently a board member for The ARC Minnesota, and previously served on the boards of Headwaters Foundation for Justice and Minnesota Education Equity Partnership. He is a community faculty member in the Social Justice Minor at the University of Minnesota and a fellow at the Cultural Wellness Center and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The Minneapolis/Saint Paul Business Journal named him as a 40 under 40 honoree and the Saint Paul Foundation selected him as a Facing Race honoree.

Muneer received a master’s degree in sociology from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in political science, sociology, and social justice from the University of Minnesota. He lives in the Frogtown neighborhood of Saint Paul with his partner and three children.