Dec 6, 2023 - World

Julián Castro named new CEO of Latino-focused foundation

Former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Julián Castro in Washington last year. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julían Castro announced on Wednesday that he is taking the helm of a California foundation focused on empowering Latinos.

Why it matters: Castro, who served as the youngest member of former President Obama's Cabinet, says he plans to give the Latino Community Foundation a national footprint and aims to improve civic engagement and economic well-being for Latinos all over the U.S.

Details: The Latino Community Foundation is a network of hundreds of philanthropists who donate to Latino-led organizations. It also promotes civic engagement and helps nonprofit organizations grow through an accelerator program.

  • Castro has worked as a political analyst and spent time stumping for Democratic candidates since his failed bid to win the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.
  • He will take over as CEO of the foundation on Jan. 1 and will continue to reside in Texas, he tells Axios.

The big picture: Latinos are 19% of the U.S. population and are increasingly spread out all over the country.

  • Yet, they lag behind their white counterparts in several measures of economic well-being, including homeownership, savings, and investment rates.

What they're saying: "I want to make sure that we're helping to greenlight the great work that Latino nonprofits all over California and then eventually outside of the state are doing to lift up Latinos when it comes to entrepreneurship, educational achievement, better access to credit and to health care resources," Castro tells Axios.

  • "All those things that go into upward mobility and a great quality of life."
  • Castro "brings the necessary experience and passion for supporting our communities to build upon the organization's legacy," said U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla, a California Democrat, in a news release.
  • "I have no doubt that under his leadership, the Latino Community Foundation will continue to be a driving force for positive change and addressing the unique challenges faced by the Latino community in California and beyond."

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