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Reichgott Junge, Ember

Former MN State Senator & Author

Former Minnesota State Senator Ember Reichgott Junge is the author of Minnesota’s 1991 first-in-nation charter school law, which was a winner of the 2000 Innovations in American Government Award from the JFK School of Government at Harvard University. The 18-year legislator served as Senate Assistant Majority Leader before stepping down from senate service in 2000.

In honor of the 20th anniversary of the passage of the first charter legislation, Reichgott Junge wrote the history of the origins of chartering from 1988 through 1992 in her book: Zero Chance of Passage: The Pioneering Charter School Story. The book has won multiple national awards, including Third Grand Prize Winner for Nonfiction Books in the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, and Best Regional Book of the Year by Reader Views Literary Awards.

Reichgott Junge is a national spokesperson on charter public schools, traveling the country to tell the pioneering story ( She is past board member of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, and current board member of Washington D.C. based Charter Schools Development Corporation (CSDC), which is co-publisher of Zero Chance of Passage. She was inducted into the National Charter Schools Hall of Fame in April, 2008, and received the Brian Bennett Education Warrior Award from Democrats for Education Reform in December, 2012.

For over twenty years, Ms. Reichgott Junge practiced business and nonprofit law with The General Counsel, Ltd, before becoming a nonprofit executive for a large human services organization. Reichgott Junge is also a television political analyst, former radio host and editorial writer. Her board service has included Citizens Independent Bank, Twin Cities United Way, and the Minneapolis Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Ember received her BA from St. Olaf College (Northfield, Minnesota), JD from Duke University Law School (Durham, North Carolina), and MBA from University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN). She is an avid ballroom dancer and most enjoys spending time with her husband, Michael Junge.