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San Diego, California - The California Commission on Asian & Pacific Islander American Affairs unanimously elected Asian Business Association San Diego President & CEO Jason Paguio as their new chair.

“I am honored that the Commission put their trust in me to lead as their new Chair; it is an immense honor to serve alongside dedicated individuals advocating for increased representation and empowerment of AANHPI communities,” said Commissioner Jason Paguio. “I'm committed to leveraging this opportunity to advance economic equity, develop meaningful change with policymakers, and amplify our state's most diverse voices.”

The California Commission on Asian & Pacific Islander American Affairs is the only ethnic commission established by statute and its mission is to address the diverse and complex needs, issues, and concerns of Asian American and Pacific Islander American communities. It plays a crucial role in advising the California Governor and State Legislature on the views, needs, and concerns of the state’s population of over six million Asian and Pacific Islander Americans.

“Jason's commitment, leadership, and advocacy for the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities make him the perfect choice to lead the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs,” said Chairwoman Nora Vargas of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. “His focus on diverse representation and empowerment is helping us build stronger, healthier communities and I look forward to seeing the positive impact of his tenure as Chair."

Commissioner Paguio was appointed to the Commission by Governor Gavin Newsom in 2022. He is the President and CEO of the Asian Business Association San Diego (ABASD) and the Asian Business Association Foundation. Paguio also serves on San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria’s AAPI Advisory board which assists in guiding the Mayor’s administration in tackling the unique challenges facing diverse communities.

“Congratulations to Jason Paguio on his appointment as Chair of the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs,” Mayor Todd Gloria said. “San Diego is fortunate to have a committed leader who tirelessly advocates for marginalized communities, small businesses, and the underserved."

In 2021, ABASD launched a study revealing that 9,100 AAPI-owned businesses in San Diego County, and approximately 24,692 self-employed Asian and Pacific Islander residents in the County generated a $5 billion impact to the San Diego region. Since the pandemic, ABASD has assisted thousands of business owners and entrepreneurs build networks, access funding, and increase their capacity.

“Under Jason’s leadership, the Asian Business Association San Diego has played a pivotal role in strengthening our region's small business community, creating thousands of jobs and fostering thriving businesses,” said Alex Villafuerte, Co-Chair of the San Diego API Coalition. “I am eager to see the impact he will bring to our community statewide in his role as Commission Chair.”

The newly elected Executive Committee includes community organizer and San Diego City College professor Kirin Macapugay, who has been elected as Vice Chair, and Lance Toma, Chief Executive Officer of the San Francisco Community Health Center, who will serve as Secretary. Both were appointed by then Senate Pro Tempore Toni Atkins.


The California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs (CAPIAA) is a state agency dedicated to elevating the political, economic, and social issues of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. CAPIAA advises the Governor and Legislature on effective responses to the needs and concerns of the state’s diverse Asian and Pacific Islander American communities and works to foster understanding, inclusivity, and collaboration across the state.

For more information, please visit our

CAPIAA website:

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