In the following years, she was an independent curator working with museums in the United States and Japan, including the Yokohama Museum of Art and the Center for International Contemporary Art (CICA), New York. The exhibitions she organized, on postwar Japanese art, Yayoi Kusama and Chinese ink painter Liu Dan, among others, brought to the fore on the international stage previously under examined Asian contributions to global visual culture.
In 1998, Munroe was appointed Director of Japan Society Gallery. She led the museum’s expansion of contemporary arts programs through such award-winning exhibitions as Little Boy: The Arts of Japan’s Exploding Subcultures (2005), curated by Takashi Murakami, and organized the society’s first inter-Asia exhibition, Transmitting the Forms of Divinity: Early Buddhist Art from Korea and Japan.
Munroe earned a masters degree in art history at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University and was awarded a Ph.D. in history from New York University, with a thesis on postwar Japanese art and politics.
Munroe is a trustee of the Aspen Music Festival and School; Institute of Fine Arts, New York University; Intelligence Squared U.S.; Longhouse Reserve; PEN America Center; and the Byrd Hoffman Watermill Center. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is a former member of the Association of American Museum Directors (AAMD).
She serves on the advisory boards of several organizations, including Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong, Jnanapravaha Mumbai, LEAP Magazine, Beijing, Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai; and sits on the Visiting Committee of the Thomas J. Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. In April 2011, she spearheaded the Guggenheim’s international museums petition calling for the release of Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei. With broad support from ICOM, the American Association of Museum Directors (AAMD) and PEN America, the petition garnered over 145,000 signatures from around the world on the activist online site Change.org.
In 2017, Munroe received the Japan Foundation Award which is bestowed by the government of Japan recognizing individuals whose contributions have promoted international friendship and understanding between Japan and the world. Munroe was credited for the far-reaching impact of her exhibitions and scholarship for bolstering the field of postwar Japanese art history both in America and Japan.
Munroe has lectured widely at museums and academic conferences, including appearances at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Columbia universities; School of Oriental Studies, London University; the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), Beijing; and the International Research Center for Japanese Studies, one of Japan’s National Institutes for the Humanities.
Munroe is married to financier and philanthropist Robert Rosenkranz and serves with him on the board of the Rosenkranz Foundation. In 2005, they cofounded Intelligence Squared U.S., a public policy debate forum carried on hundreds of NPR radio stations and heard by millions on NPR and iTunes podcasts.