SDLA Alumni Appointed to City International Affairs Board

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By Allison Don

Two alumni of the San Diego Lead­er­ship Alliance (SDLA), Roberto Alcan­tar (Class of 2012) and Mark Leo (Class of 2013) have been appointed to the City of San Diego’s Inter­na­tional Affairs Board. The board aims to fos­ter friendly rela­tions, bet­ter under­stand­ing, eco­nomic coop­er­a­tion, and cul­tural inter­change between the U.S. and other countries.

“I am deeply hon­ored and hum­bled to be given the oppor­tu­nity to serve our great city of San Diego as a mem­ber of the Inter­na­tional Affairs Board for the City of San Diego,” says Alcan­tar. “I look for­ward to work­ing with the other board mem­bers and our City Coun­cil to grow our City’s inter­na­tional pres­ence and fur­ther develop our bina­tional region and economy.”

Says Leo: “I believe that there aren’t enough AAPI [Asian Amer­i­can and Pacific Islander] peo­ple serv­ing on boards for the city of San Diego and other sur­round­ing munic­i­pal­i­ties in the region. Coun­cil­woman Cole has said that we need these boards to rep­re­sent the city that we serve. As a Fil­ipino Amer­i­can, my oppor­tu­nity to serve does not just meet that goal, but it also allows me to help build bridges between all of San Diego’s diverse com­mu­ni­ties as we seek to grow San Diego’s inter­na­tional pres­ence in the global com­mu­nity. The pop­u­lace of San Diego is tied to so many dif­fer­ent nations that we would be remiss to not engage in projects/​collaborations with that would lead to more eco­nomic coop­er­a­tion and cul­tural inter­change between our city and one abroad.”

Mark Leo was born in Baguio City, Philip­pines in 1984. He immi­grated to the United States at the age of one, after his father had joined the Navy. After a brief stint in Ore­gon, his father was sta­tioned in San Diego, Cal­i­for­nia. As a “native” San Die­gan, Mark grew up in Par­adise Hills and attended Morse High School. Mark has a BA from UC Santa Bar­bara in His­tory and Asian Amer­i­can Stud­ies, and an MA in Asian Amer­i­can Stud­ies from San Fran­cisco State Uni­ver­sity. He has worked for the San Diego County Office of Edu­ca­tion and the Cen­ter of Pol­icy Ini­tia­tives. Mark is presently a work­site orga­nizer for SEIU Local 221, rep­re­sent­ing employ­ees from the San Diego County, City of Chula Vista, National City, and Impe­r­ial Beach.

Roberto Alcan­tar was born and raised in the South Bay region of San Diego, where he presently resides with his wife and daugh­ter. After grad­u­at­ing from South­west High School, Roberto received a BA from UC Berke­ley in Polit­i­cal Sci­ence with a Minor in Pub­lic Pol­icy. He has worked for the U.S. State Depart­ment in Perth, Aus­tralia, on a project funded by the Depart­ment of Jus­tice to bat­tle Human Traf­fick­ing in San Diego County, in higher edu­ca­tion, and at Feed­ing Amer­ica San Diego. Roberto serves on the SD County Young Democ­rats board, the SD County Demo­c­ra­tic Party Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, the SDLA board, and the League of Con­ser­va­tion Vot­ers of SD board. He is presently a Field Rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Cal­i­for­nia State Sen­a­tor Marty Block.

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Immigration Attorney, Prins Asylum Attorney, Jewish Family Service of San Diego

Tammy Lin is the immigration attorney for Jewish Family Service of San Diego’s Prins Asylum Program providing pro bono representation to scientists, musicians, artists, scholars, and professionals seeking...