SDLA Alumni Appointed to City International Affairs Board


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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