California Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Lourdes Castro Ramírez to serve as Secretary of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency. She brings more than 25 years of public service and executive management experience in affordable housing and community economic development, and having been sworn in on March 2, 2020, she is charged with leading key initiatives integral to realizing the Governor’s vision to expand affordable housing and create inclusive economic growth opportunities that serve all Californians. Secretary Castro Ramírez oversees departments responsible for funding affordable housing, enforcing civil rights protections, monitoring banking and financial transactions, strengthening consumer protections, and licensing 3 million working professionals.
Secretary Castro Ramírez was previously appointed by President Barack Obama to lead the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Public and Indian Housing. While there, she managed $26 billion in federal program funds and worked closely with federal, state, local and tribal governments to advance affordable housing policies and programs.
Prior to joining HUD, Castro Ramírez was President and CEO of the San Antonio Housing Authority, where she expanded affordable housing opportunities, developed education, health and workforce partnerships that helped residents improve their circumstances, and secured a federal Choice Neighborhood Grant that created community-centered revitalization efforts.
Most recently, she served as President of the University Health System Foundation in San Antonio, where she spent three years building philanthropic support for patient-centered programs and improving access to innovative and compassionate care for families across South Texas.
Castro Ramírez began her career working as a Community Planner in Ventura County and spent 10 years with the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles in various capacities, including the Director of the Housing Choice Voucher program. She is an accomplished executive dedicated to building partnerships and leading public, private and philanthropic efforts to improve community and system-level housing, health, business, economic and educational opportunities.
She earned her master’s degree in Urban Planning and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Chicano Studies at UCLA.
Castro Ramirez has served on several community and national boards and received the 2019 Community Partner Award from the San Antonio chapter of the American Institute of Architects for chairing the Mayor’s Housing Policy Task Force. Her work on that commission led to the San Antonio City Council’s historic adoption of a comprehensive and compassionate housing policy that will guide planning, development, incentives, and housing efforts over the next decade. She is a 2020 San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame Inductee and a proud wife and mother of three children.
She is excited to return to California and eager to continue working collaboratively on complex community issues that require equal parts experience, leadership, and heart.