Greetings from the new US assistant secretary of commerce for economic development

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Dear Friends

As you know, the Economic Development Administration has been charged with the distribution of $3 billion in grant funding as part of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan. In the days and months ahead, the job of equitably restoring American prosperity and promise will transition to the shoulders of this country’s community of economic planners and developers. Over the last year, it’s a burden many of you have already borne and a labor for which this country will long be grateful.

Today, I formally assumed the duties of Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development and administrator of EDA. For me, this is a welcome homecoming. I previously had the honor of serving as National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency, as well as other assignments within the Department of Commerce. It has been a joy to reconnect with so many of the career professionals with whom I’ve previously had the privilege to work.

Many of you are longtime collaborators with EDA, while some of you were first introduced to EDA programs during the early days of the pandemic. Whatever your specific case, I hope to meet — or reintroduce myself — to many of you in the months ahead. Under the exceptional leadership of Deputy Assistant Secretary Dennis Alvord, EDA has started executing our major role in ARP. Under my stewardship, EDA’s focus will remain on restoring a foundation for equitable and sustainable job growth and the building of durable regional economies throughout the United States.

Together, let’s Build Back Better!

Warmest Regards,

Alejandra Y. Castillo

Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development

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