Alejandra Y. Castillo was sworn in as U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development on August 13, 2021. She has served in leadership positions for three presidents – Biden, Obama and Clinton. Her professional career spans two decades, focusing on creating equitable and inclusive opportunities for all Americans. Prior to EDA, Castillo was the 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.
In 2014, Castillo was appointed by President Obama to serve as the national director of the Commerce Department’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), becoming the first Hispanic woman to lead the agency. During her tenure, she led MBDA’s efforts to boost the growth and global competitiveness of minority business enterprises (MBEs). Under her leadership, MBDA expanded its effort to help MBEs gain access to capital, contracts, and business opportunities, assisting MBEs in growing in size and scale. Castillo 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 (ITA). Additionally, Castillo served as a Senior Policy Analyst in the White House during the Clinton Administration.
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.