Lourdes M. Castro Ramírez
California Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Lourdes Castro Ramírez to serve as Secretary of the California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency on March 2, 2020. She leads and oversees 12 entities, including 40 boards and bureaus, collectively responsible for the preservation and expansion of safe, affordable housing, efforts to prevent and end homelessness, protect consumers, and safeguard California’s civil rights laws.
Since 2020, the Agency and departments have delivered more than $31 billion in funding to expand rental and homeownership housing opportunities and more than $11 billion in homelessness solutions; partnered with state agencies to develop a Statewide Action Plan for Preventing and Ending Homelessness; and strengthened consumer protections through the licensing, regulation, education and enforcement of over four million businesses, professionals and financial institutions. Under the leadership of Secretary Castro Ramírez, the Agency and departments have launched new initiatives to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility through policies and programs to combat hate and discrimination, create greater access to state programs, increase meaningful community engagement and partnerships, and promote healthy and thriving California communities.
Secretary Castro Ramírez currently serves on the California Strategic Growth Council, the California Housing Finance Agency Board, the Governor’s Military Council, and co-chairs the California Interagency Council on Homelessness. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, she led the state’s response and recovery efforts to keep people housed and served on the Governor’s Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery to rebuild a more equitable, sustainable, and resilient economy.
Secretary Castro Ramírez has held notable and prominent positions including her appointment by former President Barack Obama to lead the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Public and Indian Housing; President and CEO of the San Antonio Housing Authority; Director at the LA City Housing Authority overseeing rental assistance and resident development programs; and serving as University Health System Foundation President in San Antonio.
Secretary Castro Ramírez is a member of the UCLA Luskin Public Affairs Advisory Board. She has served on several community and national boards, including the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, Council of Large Public Housing Authorities, and AmeriCorps, 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. She is the recipient of the Hispanas Organized for Political Equality’s 2020 Ray of HOPE award, and 2020 San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame Inductee.
Secretary Castro Ramírez earned her Master of Arts Degree in Urban Planning and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and Chicano Studies at UCLA.
Secretary Castro Ramírez is joyfully married to Jorge, and a proud mom to Jorge, Natalia, and Nicolas. In 2013, she and her family established an annual Kick Childhood Cancer Soccer Camp to raise support for pediatric cancer research to honor her son’s love of soccer and his courageous life battling cancer.