Vice President, International Business Affairs
As Vice President of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Paola Avila brings nearly 20 years of experience in public policy, community outreach, and government relations. In her current position, Avila focuses on advocacy of domestic and international public policies that enhance economic prosperity through trade, commerce, and robust international relationships. Leveraging our region’s assets such as our diverse and skilled workforce and land, air and sea ports she works to secure our position as a top global competitor. With her experience in both the private and public sectors, Avila represents the business community on distinguished panels throughout the nation, on topics ranging from infrastructure to immigration to trade, having a grasp on diverse topics impacting commerce.
From 2000 to 2005, Avila served as Deputy Chief of Staff for the Mayor of San Diego, where she advised on economic development policy and binational affairs. Avila then started her own public affairs consulting business assisting large and small companies with economic development opportunities and land use planning.
Avila later served in Senator Ben Hueso’s office advising him in several policy areas including water, energy and economic development obtaining bipartisan support for state legislation.
Ms. Avila serves on the Board of Directors of Civic San Diego and the Executive Board of the Border Trade Alliance (BTA). She also serves on the on the IBWC Citizens Forum and on the Board of Directors of the Foundation for the Children of the Californias, a tri-national collaboration with Canada, the United States, and Mexico, supporting the Hospital Infantil de las Californias. Her past community involvement includes Executive Board member of the Mexican American Business and Professional Association and the Borderview YMCA Board of Directors.
Avila is recognized as a leader in the industry winning multiple awards including Latino Leaders Magazine’s 2014 San Diego’s Most Influential Latinos, Cross Border Leader by San Diego Magazine at their 2015 Latino Impact Awards and, most recently, South County EDC’s 2017 Regional Leadership Award. She was also named San Diego Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Cross Border Leader of the Year and selected as a finalist at the San Diego Business Journal Women Who Mean Business Awards.
Avila graduated from the University of California San Diego with a B.A. in Economics.