YWCA USA today announced its board of directors has selected Alejandra Y. Castillo as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective September 18, 2017.
"This is the perfect time for Alejandra Castillo to become YWCA USA's next CEO. We have selected a bold leader who will further our mission of eliminating racism and empowering women," said Sylvia Hill Fields, YWCA USA national board chair. "Alejandra's ability to navigate complex systems, develop public-private partnerships, and advocate for women and girls, especially those of color, is exactly what YWCA USA needs as we enter our next chapter of leading systemic social change."
With over two decades of policy, legal and political experience in Washington, D.C., Castillo has dedicated her life to public service. She has been instrumental in driving key federal legislative and public policy initiatives focused on civil rights, economic development, children and family law, and health policy. In her most recent role as national director of the Minority Business Development Agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, she secured financing and capital of over $19 billionfor businesses owned by people of color, creating or retaining over 33,000 jobs.
"I am honored to take the reins of such an iconic organization," said Castillo. "YWCA has a long history of being at the forefront of racial justice and gender equity issues while working for institutional change. From leadership training, STEM education, and entrepreneurship to advocacy days on Capitol Hill and support for survivors of domestic violence, YWCA continues to change lives every day."
"Alejandra is a change agent. She has the expertise, vision and bold leadership skills needed to elevate YWCA's voice in the national policy arena and strengthen our network of 215 associations to enhance the day-to-day services we provide women and girls — especially those of color — to regenerate families and communities, and enable individuals to achieve their hopes and dreams," said Fields.
Castillo's family immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic in the 1960s. She was born in the New York City borough of Queens and considers herself a true New Yorker, but she has also lived in Texas, Portugal and the Dominican Republic. Castillo is fluent in Spanish, English and Portuguese. She has been a Washington, D.C. resident for over two decades, where she has raised her two nieces who are now both enrolled in college.
About YWCA USA
YWCA USA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities. We are one of the oldest and largest women's organizations in the nation, serving over 2 million women, girls, and their families.
YWCA has been at the forefront of the most pressing social movements for more than 150 years — from voting rights to civil rights, from affordable housing to pay equity, from violence prevention to health care reform. Today, we combine programming and advocacy in order to generate institutional change in three key areas: racial justice and civil rights; empowerment and economic advancement of women and girls; and health and safety of women and girls. Learn more: www.ywca.org.