“IT’S a tremendous privilege to be a part of this administration — it’s definitely going to be the opportunity of a lifetime,” the governor’s new chief of staff, William “Wil” Castro, said on Friday.
“I’m so very fortunate to be given the opportunity to give back in some way,” the former Guam senator added.
“My priority is the priority of the state, and to translate that loosely, it’s the priority of the governor, who’s the chief executive of this Commonwealth. I was excited when he called. Certainly, you don’t apply for a position like this. He was very persistent and he conveyed to me a tremendous vision he has for the Commonwealth, and I was in awe. I took the call on Guam in my home office and I was in shock. Until this day, I feel like this is surreal. I can’t even grasp the magnitude of what’s in front of the people of the Commonwealth. This vision that he’s going to be imparting and rolling out and articulating with stakeholders to include the policymakers in the legislature is really the opportunity of a lifetime to chart their own course.”
Castro said his priority is to serve the governor well, faithfully, and with integrity, and to translate the priorities of the Commonwealth into an actionable plan.
“That’s my job, and to serve the Commonwealth, to serve the people above all else. Of course, you can take it, down the line, and say my job is to do whatever I’m directed to do... That comes with being a part of the machinery, if you will, as a member of his staff,” he added.
Asked for comment on the some of the “hot" issues in the Commonwealth at this time, Castro said, “Actually, this is the difference between being a former senator and the chief of staff or a key administrative member of his team. I’m not going to exercise the prerogative to speak on issues of policy at this point in time, but I will look into that further and gladly work with the governor as well as the policymakers on a better path forward.”
“I will tell you that as the governor rolls out his vision and strategic plan going forward, on the table are issues much larger,” he said.
"On the table are issues relative to economic development and economic sustainability, the ability to survive notwithstanding any one industry. I come from a place, as you all know, south of the CNMI and we have two pillars of that economy and we see what drives this economy. And from experience... we want to build a diverse economy that’s resilient, and I think the governor has done a great job.”
He noted that the administration “has a proven record in dealing with adversity and in systems under duress, under stress, Covid and the pandemic. This Commonwealth set the standard throughout the nation. That’s not a secret. It’s not something on Guam, and we’re ashamed of; it’s something we fully embrace that [Governor] Torres really set the bar when it came to dealing with the pandemic. Just open the papers and look at it. And so, with that kind of track record... [this] is an opportunity for me to be a part of that. You folks are writing a new chapter of history and I look forward to being a small part of that.”
Castro said he also has a lot of confidence in the administration’s team.
“You have a lot of superstars on this administration’s team, very highly capable and highly qualified folks. Of course, the [Finance] secretary, Mr. [David] Atalig, is on board. I’m a big fan of his ability to manage so much money and maintain the efficacy of those programs that he administers under his belt through the guidance of the governor of the Commonwealth,” he said.
Castro served as a senator in the 34th and 35th Guam Legislature and has extensive public service experience in the government of Guam.
He also served on several national, regional, and territorial policy and planning bodies pertaining to oceans, fisheries, and coastal and coral reef matters.
As a senator, Castro, along with the late Rep. Ivan A. Blanco, is credited 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 the legislatures of the two jurisdictions.
He 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.