Former Minnesota State Senator Ember Reichgott Junge is author of Minnesota’s 1991 first-in-nation charter school law, a winner of the 2000 Innovations in American Government Award from Harvard University’s JFK School of Government. The 18-year legislator served as Senate Assistant Majority Leader before stepping down from public service in 2000.
In honor of the 20th anniversary of chartering, Reichgott Junge wrote Zero Chance of Passage: The Pioneering Charter School Story, a candid memoir of her challenging journey of pioneering the first charter school law from idea to national movement. 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 (www.ZeroChanceOfPassage.com).
Reichgott Junge is a national spokesperson on charter public schools, past board member of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, and current board vice chair of Washington D.C. based Charter Schools Development Corporation (CSDC), copublisher of Zero Chance of Passage. She was inducted into the National Charter Schools Hall of Fame in 2008, and received the Brian Bennett Education Warrior Award from Democrats for Education Reform in 2012.
For over twenty years, Reichgott Junge practiced business and nonprofit law before becoming a nonprofit executive for a large human services organization. She is a frequent television political analyst and 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.