Brian Castro was appointed National Ombudsman and Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Enforcement Fairness at the U.S. Small Business Administration in August 2013.
When small businesses confront unfair enforcement actions, excessive fines, retaliation, or disproportionately burdensome regulations involving federal agencies, the Office of the National Ombudsman provides an independent channel for reporting the problem, as well as high-level review of the issue, and an impartial liaison between the business and the agency in question.
Brian's team works across government to facilitate the reporting and review of federal regulatory actions impacting small business. In cooperation with other federal agencies, small business owners, non-profit organizations, and small government entities, the Ombudsman works to identify, assess and appropriately address undue regulatory burdens on small businesses.
Brian also oversees a national network of ten Regional Regulatory Fairness Boards that advise the Ombudsman regarding federal regulations that disproportionately burden small businesses.
Prior to his appointment at the SBA, Brian worked as an attorney and advocate in Washington, DC, helping small businesses and non-profit organizations succeed in heavily regulated environments. Previously, he served as Senior Counsel to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Department of Enforcement, a Congressional aide, and a law clerk in U.S. District Court.
As legal counsel to regulated businesses, regulators, and members of the judicial and legislative branches, he has participated directly in all phases of the federal regulatory process: from legislative drafting and enactment, to proposed regulation and agency rule, to government investigation and enforcement action, and, ultimately, to judicial resolution. With that perspective, Brian brings to the Office of the National Ombudsman profound appreciation for the unintended burdens that even well-intentioned government requirements can put on small business success, and a commitment to a regulatory system that strikes the right balance.
He has served on several non-profit boards and commissions, including the ABA Presidential Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities; the Board of Directors of the LGBT Bar Association; and the Standing Committee for Pro Bono Legal Services of the D.C. Circuit Judicial Conference. A Maryland native, Brian earned a B.S. in Industrial & Labor Relations from Cornell University, and a J.D. from the Duke University School of Law.