May 14, 2024 – San Diego, CA – San Diego Foundation (SDF) announced today that it has launched an Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Fund to support leadership in and the visibility of the local AANHPI community.

“San Diego Foundation has a vision for just, equitable and resilient communities where every San Diegan has the opportunity to prosper, thrive and feel like they belong,” said Amenah Gulamhusein, SDF Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives. “Through the AANHPI Fund, we will work with the community to identify areas of need, advance AANHPI leadership and build inter-community connections.”

San Diego County has the 7th largest AANHPI community in the country. According to the San Diego Economic Equity Report, the AANHPI population in San Diego has increased 20% since 2020 and, by 2030, most of the county’s foreign-born residents will be from Asia.

“Creating the AANHPI Fund will generate tremendous long-term sustainability, empowerment, and investment into the hundreds of organizations and community leaders supporting and uplifting our rapidly growing AANHPI community,” said Lauren Garces, member of the AANHPI Fund leadership council and Co-Chair of San Diego API Coalition.

The AANHPI Fund is supported by a $2.5 million endowment approved by the SDF Board of Governors. Additionally, the SDF Board of Governors will match donations to the fund up to $250,000 annually for the fund’s first five years.

“San Diego Foundation has been a strong partner in amplifying and advocating for causes and organizations that support the local Asian American and Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander communities,” said Jason Paguio, member of the AANHPI Fund leadership council and President and CEO, Asian Business Association of San Diego. “This new fund gives our family, friends, and allies a trusted avenue to show their support, with the assurance that their contributions will directly benefit and invest in the community.”

The AANHPI Fund will raise funds from the AANHPI community and grant to AANHPI-led and/or -serving nonprofit organizations in San Diego County. Its leadership council members include:

  • Ron Cho, Board of Directors Vice President, API Coalition
  • Lauren Garces, Co-Chair, San Diego API Coalition
  • Trinh Le, Director of Community Capacity, Stop AAPI Hate
  • Kent Lee, District 6 Councilmember, City of San Diego
  • Jonathan “Tana” Lepule, Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander (NHPI) Advocate
  • Jason Paguio, President & CEO, Asian Business Association of San Diego
  • Alex Villafuerte, Executive Director, Pacific Arts Movement, and Co-Chair, San Diego API Coalition
  • Sid Voorakkara, Board of Port Commissioner, Port of San Diego

The AANHPI Fund is aligned with the SDF Strategic Plan that was launched in June 2021. The Strategic Plan has four pillars: advancing racial and social justice, fostering equity of opportunity, building resilient communities and delivering world-class philanthropy. To learn more about the SDF Strategic Plan, visit

About San Diego Foundation

San Diego Foundation inspires enduring philanthropy and enables community solutions to improve the quality of life in our region. Our strategic priorities include advancing racial and social justice, fostering equity of opportunity, building resilient communities, and delivering world-class philanthropy to realize our vision of just, equitable and resilient communities. The Racial & Social Justice Initiative supports policies and programs that seek to eradicate systemic discrimination. For more than 49 years, SDF and its donors have granted $1.8 billion to support nonprofit organizations strengthening our community. Learn more at


Lorena Nava Ruggero,, 619-814-1365