Alejandra Y. Castillo Sworn in as U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development
WASHINGTON – Today, Alejandra Y. Castillo was sworn in as U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development by Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. The action follows the August 11, unanimous U.S. Senate vote to confirm Castillo as the new administrator of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA).
An experienced public administrator who previously served as National Director of the Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency and held senior policy positions at the White House and the International Trade Administration, Castillo is also a first-generation American of Dominican descent. As head of EDA, she will be responsible for fulfilling the agency’s mission of leading the federal economic development agenda, including overseeing the implementation of $3 billion in economic development funding appropriated as part of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan.
“I am pleased to welcome Alejandra back to the Department to help build our economy back stronger and more equitably,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Her experience is an excellent addition to the world-class team we’ve assembled. She brings an important perspective spanning the public and private sectors and has the drive and determination to help America’s communities continue their recovery from the pandemic.”
“I am honored to resume my service to the nation in the role of Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, and I am thankful for President Biden and the U.S. Senate for entrusting me with this role,” said Assistant Secretary Castillo. “I look forward to working with Secretary Raimondo on advancing the President’s economic agenda at the Department of Commerce as we invest in America’s communities.”
Prior to joining the Department of Commerce, Castillo was Chief Executive Officer of YWCA USA where she championed the 163-year-old organization delivering critical social, educational, and economic development services throughout its 204 associations, reaching over 2.3 million women and families across 1,300 communities in the United States.
As National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency during the Obama Administration, Castillo expanded its effort to help minority business enterprises gain access to capital, contracts, and business opportunities. She first joined the Department of Commerce in 2008 as a Special Advisor to the Under Secretary for the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration. In this capacity, she was responsible for business outreach and intergovernmental affairs and assisted in developing policy initiatives geared at trade promotion and enforcement of U.S. trade laws. She holds a bachelor's degree in Economics and Political Science from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, a master's degree in public affairs from the LBJ School at the University of Texas at Austin, and earned a Juris Doctor degree from American University's Washington College of Law.
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.