Lourdes M. Castro Ramírez
California Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Lourdes Castro Ramírez to serve as Secretary of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency effective March 2, 2020. She is charged with leading and overseeing departments responsible for expanding affordable housing, designing comprehensive solutions to end homelessness, enforcing civil rights protections, regulating banking and financial services, strengthening consumer protections, and licensing nearly 4 million working professionals.
During her first few months, Secretary Castro Ramírez has been integral in guiding policy during the COVID-19 pandemic serving on the Housing and Social Services Task Force, and on Governor Newsom’s Task Force on Business and Jobs recovery, where she is co-chair of the Financial Systems and Infrastructure Subcommittee. She has taken a hands-on approach to meeting the moment to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and works closely with the departments she oversees to do the same.
Secretary Castro Ramírez is dedicated to strengthening communities and building partnerships that improve housing, economic, educational and health opportunities for all. She has held notable and prominent positions including being appointed by 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, and most recently as President of the University Health System Foundation in San Antonio. In all these positions she has advanced and improved affordable housing policies and programs.
Castro Ramírez began her career in the mid-1990s 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.
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. She is a 2020 San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame Inductee and a proud wife and mother of three children.
After the loss of her 11-year old son Nico in 2013, she and her husband established an annual Kick Childhood Soccer Camp designed to raise awareness and funds to support pediatric cancer research.
She earned her master’s degree in Urban Planning and bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Chicano Studies at UCLA.