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Castillo nominated to lead EDA

April 29, 2021

President Joe Biden has nominated Alejandra Y. Castillo to serve as the next assistant secretary for economic development in the U.S. Department of Commerce. If confirmed, she will have a unique opportunity to leave a significant imprint on regional efforts toward growing prosperity as a result of the $3 billion appropriated to the Economic Development Administration in March through the America Rescue Plan Act. 

Her past professional career is fully consistent with the Biden administration’s commitment toward broadening economic opportunity to more Americans. Castillo is the immediate past CEO of YWCA USA, where she led the 163-year-old organization and its 204 associations serving over 2.3 million women and families across 1300 communities in the United States.  She also served in senior leadership roles in two previous presidential administrations with a specific focus on international trade, minority entrepreneurship and economic development. In 2014, she was appointed by the Obama administration to serve as national director of the Minority Business Development Agency, becoming the first Hispanic American woman to lead the agency.

Castillo holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Political Science from the State University of New York at Stony Brook; a Master of Arts in public policy from the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin; and a Juris Doctorate from American University, Washington College of Law.

The Senate is expected to hold her confirmation hearing sometime this spring.  Castillo would be the first woman since 1993 to oversee EDA and only the third across its 56-year history.