CNMI Gov Torres names former Guam senator Castro chief of staff
Governor Ralph DLG. Torres has appointed William Mendiola Castro to serve as Chief of Staff for the CNMI Office of the Governor.
A former senator in the 34th and 35th Guam Legislature, Castro has extensive public service experience within the government of Guam (GovGuam), having served as Director of the Bureau of Statistics and Plans, the central planning authority of GovGuam, and as a cabinet official and senior advisor to Governor Eddie Calvo. He also served on several national, regional, and territorial policy and planning bodies relative to oceans, fisheries, coastal and coral matters.
No stranger to the CNMI, Castro has served as director of institutional effectiveness at the Northern Marianas College, where he oversaw the successful lifting of the college’s show-cause status and reaffirmed its accreditation.
As a senator, Castro is credited, along with the late Rep. Ivan Blanco, for having played instrumental roles in the establishment of the Marianas Working Group between the Offices of the Governors of Guam and the CNMI with the participation of members of both legislatures.
“Wil has played an instrumental role in building bridges within the Marianas. He is no outsider, as he has served our Northern Marianas College and championed one of the most successful intergovernmental initiatives between the CNMI and Guam with the establishment of the Marianas Working Group, which was critical in economic collaboration and in our immediate recovery during Super Typhoon Yutu. He is exceedingly qualified, and I look forward to having him serve our community as my chief of staff,” said Torres.
Castro has worked under both Republican and Democratic leaders in Guam and has focused on creating collaborative solutions across party lines.
Wil is a personal friend of mine, and we had several opportunities to work together on Marianas initiatives during my previous terms in the Commonwealth Legislature and during my tenure as Chief of Staff. He is a trusted and respected leader across the Marianas, and I am excited to see him bring more positive results as he fills the position I left behind this past January to serve my third term in the House of Representatives. Congratulations Chief Castro,” said House Minority Leader Angel A. Demapan.
"Wil Castro is a solid pick. Mr. Castro is able to work with all stakeholders regardless of party. As a former senator and senior adviser to a governor, it is clear that he understands the challenges facing the Marianas. Definitely a big picture thinker," said Precinct 4 Representative Sheila Babauta.
Castro is a Grand Knight and 4th Degree Knight in the Knights of Columbus, an active community volunteer in Guam, and has represented Guam in several government boards including the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, the US Coral Reef Task Force, and the Commission on Decolonization.
Castro received his bachelor’s degree in secondary education from the University of Guam, a master’s degree in education from Harvard University, and attained doctoral candidate status at Columbia University. He also holds certifications from Stanford University, teaching certifications, and in sexual harassment awareness.
He is engaged to Dr. Debra Tudela Cabrera from Saipan. Dr. Cabrera was a former Dean of Academic Programs at the Northern Marianas College and a former Member of the White House Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. She is currently a tenure-track professor at the University of Guam. Together they are raising four children, Ashley, Cameren, Liam and Mariåna.