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Julian Castro's Press Aide Joins Hillary Clinton's Campaign

Image: Betsaida Alcantara
Betsaida Alcantara, assistant secretary for public affairs, Housing and Urban Development. She is leaving the job at the end of July 2015 to join Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign. Housing and Urban Development

Betsaida Alcantara, who has led the public affairs shop for Housing Secretary Julián Castro, is leaving to work for the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Castro, thought to be a potential running mate to Clinton, announced Alcantara's impending departure Monday, while a Clinton campaign official told NBC News Alcantara would be joining Clinton's team. She'll be director of media planning, working on longterm media planning for the campaign. Castro's announcement did not mention Alcantara's new position.

Alcantara, who was born in the Dominican Republican but grew up in New York State, adds another Latina to Clinton's campaign staff and press operations.

Alcantara has worked for six years in the Obama administration, including Housing and Urban Development. She served as press secretary for Lisa Jackson at the Environmental Protection Agency and as a communications director at the General Services Administration.

The first in her family to attend college, Alcantara also worked on Obama's 2008 campaign in Florida.

As a 2007 Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute fellow, she worked in the offices of Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. and Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J.

Alcantara arrived in the U.S. when she was 10 with her family. Her father had organized migrant workers in the Dominican Republican and continued labor organizing in New York. Her mother worked various jobs, as a nurse's aide, at a cookie factory, at McDonald's.

Castro said Jaime Castillo, who came to Washington from the San Antonio mayor's office with Castro, would serve as his acting assistant secretary for public affairs.

Alcantara remains with Castro through the end of July.