2018 News

Castro-Gonzalves is Brown School commencement speaker

Brown School alumna Charita L. Castro-Gonzalves, MSW ’99, will return to St. Louis as the featured speaker for the Brown School Recognition and Hooding Ceremony on Thursday, May 17.

The ceremony will be at 7:30 p.m. at the Field House, within the Athletic Complex of Washington University in St. Louis. The All-University Commencement Ceremony will follow on Friday, May 18, at 8:30 a.m.

Castro-Gonzalves is the chief of the Research and Policy Division at U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking. She is a recognized research and policy expert research in the field, particularly in relation to advancing the knowledge base on the measurement of child labor and forced labor and translating research findings into concrete policy actions.

“Charita was recently awarded one of the 2018 Brown School Awards of Distinction for her amazing work,” said Mary M. McKay, Neidorff Family and Centene Corporation Dean of the Brown School.

“Because she continually demonstrates the values of the Brown School and has experience in social work, public health and social policy, I am so excited for her to be our speaker.”

As division chief, Castro-Gonzalves oversees a staff of 20 researchers and program managers who conduct research for the Department’s flagship reports on child labor and forced labor, manage a portfolio of $80 million in grants and contracts to support research and build the capacity of governments to address the issues, and engage with businesses to reduce child labor and forced labor in company supply chains.

Her team is recognized for their innovative work in developing the first-ever mobile applications in the U.S. government focused on human rights concerns, Sweat & Toil and ComplyChain (available on Apple iTunes and Google Play). Their work has been featured in top international media outlets, including The Guardian, New York Times, PBS Newshour, Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.

Castro-Gonzalves began her government career as a Presidential Management Fellow, and has spent 20 years in public service working in federal agencies that have included the US Census Bureau and US Department of Health and Human Services. During the 2010-2011 academic year, she held a faculty appointment as an assistant professor at the Brown School.

While she was pursuing her MSW, Castro-Gonzales was a research assistant at the Center for Social Development.

To view Charita Castro-Gonzalves’ remarks via livestream, visit brownschool.wustl.edu/commencement on Thursday, May 17, 2018.

This article is courtesy of the Brown School and originally was published on the school’s website.