James Downs, associate professor of history and American studies, will spend the 2015-16 academic year studying medical anthropology at Harvard University.
Trustee Eduardo Castell ’87 already successfully led two election campaigns for William C. Thompson, Jr., so it came as no surprise when Thompson recently picked him to run his latest campaign – for New York City mayor.
Thompson, a Democrat, will take on Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, an independent, in November.
The New York Times announced the challenge, saying Castell was the man-behind-the-scenes in 2001 when Thompson, an underdog, was elected city comptroller. A long time adviser and confidant of Thompson, Castell also headed his successful 2005 re-election campaign.
Castell supervises government and community relations for the comptroller, who essentially serves as the city’s chief financial officer.
Castell has strong connections to the city’s Latino community and organized labor, The Times said. He has also worked for two New York City congressmen.
In the mid-1990s, he was district manager and chief of staff for Representative Nydia Velázquez. Previously, he was legislative director for late Representative Ted Weiss.
Castell believes Thompson has the financial expertise and compassion to lead a city in the middle of an international economic crisis.
“You need someone who can lead the city during these tough times, who has the understanding and sensitivity of what folks across the city are going through right now,” Castell told The Times. “I think Bill Thompson is that person.”
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