Mayor announces new leadership and expansion of the city’s Office of Youth Development
Mayor Greg Fischer today announced that Dr. Aishia Brown has been appointed to be the new Director for the city’s Office of Youth Development (OYD) and Dr. Billie Castle has been appointed as a Special Assistant for Resilience and Community Services (RCS) with a special focus in OYD.
“I’m excited that our Office of Youth Development will get two highly skilled researchers with solid foundations in youth development and violence prevention,” the Mayor said. “I look forward to working with Dr. Brown and Dr. Castle to create pathways to success that will ultimately improve youth outcomes in our city.”
OYD, a part of the city’s Office of Resilience and Community Services, serves as a resource and advocate for Louisville’s young people and provides information about youth programs, training opportunities, funding and research.
Dr. Aishia Brown
Dr. Brown joins the OYD team through a joint position with University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences, where she will continue her work as an assistant professor in the Department of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences. She holds affiliations with the University of Louisville’s Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research, Youth Violence Prevention Research Center, and the Cooperative Consortium for Social Justice Transdisciplinary Research.
Dr. Brown earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Recreation, Park, and Tourism Sciences with an emphasis in Youth Development from Texas A&M University. She completed her postdoctoral work at the University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences and the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness Center for Health Equity where she examined the role of social justice youth development in advancing health equity.
“Aishia brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership skills that will help to advance our office and its programs,” said the Mayor. “The Office of Youth Development will benefit greatly from her innovative policies and creative direction that will ultimately improve youth outcomes.”
Metro Councilman David Yates added: "We must not overlook the importance of investing in our city's youth. Each investment is multiplied through the productivity, education and prosperity of each child, as they mature. That is the surest way to a promising future for Louisville. I welcome Dr. Brown's leadership and believe she understands the importance of the job we have entrusted to her."
Dr. Brown said she is thrilled about the opportunity to serve as the director.
“I’m excited to engage in what will be a shift from viewing youth as problems that need to be fixed to agents of change in our community,” Dr. Brown said. “I look forward to working closely with youth, youth workers, and their communities to develop transformative approaches to youth development here in Louisville.”
Dr. Billie Castle
Dr. Castle previously served as Academic Health Coordinator with the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness. She earned her Ph.D. in Public Health from the University of Louisville, a master’s degree in Public Health from Texas A&M University and a bachelor’s degree from Howard University. Dr. Castle completed her postdoctoral research at the University of Louisville’s Youth Violence Prevention Research Center.
Fischer noted that Dr. Castle is already familiar with Metro Government, having worked as an academic health coordinator and evaluator for the health department.
“We are happy that Billie will be returning to focus on our young residents in Louisville,” the Mayor said. “She has demonstrated that she has the expertise necessary to continue to move OYD forward.”
Dr. Castle said she is pleased to return to Metro Government in her new role in RCS.
“The RCS team is supportive and creative, and I look forward to applying my research in violence prevention and public health in my new role,” she said. “I believe in OYD’s mission and I hope to provide equitable solutions that will improve the health and wellness of youth in our communities.”
Both Dr. Brown and Dr. Castle will begin their new roles on September 8.