US President Barack Obama (Photo: Reuters)
US President Barack Obama (a file Photo: Reuters)Reuters

US President Barack Obama nominated San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro as his next Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Shaun Donovan, the current HUD Secretary, to function as the Director of the White House Office Management and Budget (OMB).

The nomination ceremony was held at the White House State Dining Room.

"I am absolutely confident that these two individuals are going to do a great job because they have done a great job at everything they have done in the past," the President said, while nominating Castro and Donovan.

Obama narrated Castro's story and revealed that his grandmother came to the US from Mexico and worked hard for her family. She had worked as a maid, as a cook, as a babysitter - whatever she had to do to keep a roof over her family's head, the President added. 

Castro, the 39-year-old three-term Mayor, will be an invaluable member of the Obama administration. In five years, Castro has made significant progress in San Antonio, and put the city and its citizens on a new trajectory.

According to a White House communique, Castro has been a leader among Mayors in implementing housing and economic development programs that have tremendously benefitted the people of San Antonio.

"We are in a century of cities, America's cities are growing again and housing is at the top of the agenda," Castro stated at the White House, the communique added.

Castro has also built a good relationship with other Mayors and key partners in the administration's Promise Zones Initiative, which spotlights San Antonio as a shining example of a city that has been revitalized over the past few years, mainly due to Mayor Castro's leadership.

Obama also hoped that Donovan will make an excellent choice as the new Director of the White House OMB.

Donovan has committed his life to public service, focused on good government and smart investment. Under Donovan's leadership, HUD helped stabilize the housing market and worked to keep responsible families in their homes.

In the wake of the foreclosure crisis, Donovan reaffirmed HUD's commitment to building strong, sustainable, inclusive neighborhoods that are connected to education and jobs, and provide access to opportunity for all Americans.

While at HUD, Donovan made critical investments to speed economic growth, while also offered new savings proposals and ensuring fiscal responsibility.

Donovan also chaired the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, which developed a comprehensive regional plan, based on local vision for redevelopment, to guide long-term disaster recovery efforts.

Donovan also has a track record of using data to make good decisions and drive results. In the role, he has become a trusted advisor to the President and partner to other members of the cabinet.