San Diego Community News Group


San Diego Mayor-Elect Todd Gloria announces top appointments in new administration

San Diego Community News Group

Published – 11/16/20 – 07:00 AM

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Paola Avila has been named chief of staff.

Paola Avila has been named chief of staff.


San Diego Mayor-Elect Todd Gloria has announced the selection of the top leadership posts for his incoming Mayoral administration.

“I’m proud to announce the appointments of Paola Avila, Nick Serrano, and Jay Goldstone to the Gloria administration. They are a team of talented, dedicated, and experienced public servants who will help me lead our city especially through COVID-19 and get us back on track,” said San Diego Mayor-Elect Todd Gloria. “I want to thank them for their willingness to step up and serve the people of San Diego.”

The following are the initial appointments to the Gloria administration:

Avila has been named chief of staff. Avila brings over 20 years of experience in public policy, community outreach, and government relations to the Gloria administration including prior service in the mayor’s office as deputy chief of staff to Mayor Dick Murphy. Avila is the current vice president of international business affairs for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce where she leads the organization’s advocacy on immigration policy and cross-border issues, including transboundary pollution in the Tijuana River Valley. Having experience in both the public and private sectors, she co-chaired Gloria’s “Back to Work SD” task force, which created a comprehensive blueprint to guide San Diego’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Avila is a graduate from the University of California San Diego and lives in Bay Park.

Serrano has been named deputy chief of staff. A top advisor in Gloria’s leadership team for years, he has served Gloria in both his City Council and Assembly offices, most recently as director of communications on his Assembly staff. Serrano has worked in more than a dozen communities in San Diego as a community representative. He successfully managed both of Gloria’s State Assembly campaigns and his recent run for mayor. He is a communications expert who will oversee and guide the office’s media relations

and community outreach to ensure the public has access to information at the City. Serrano, a Latino who is openly LGBTQ, recently served as the board co-chair of San Diego Pride, San Diego’s largest civic celebration. He is a graduate of San Diego State University and lives in Downtown.

Goldstone has been named interim chief operating officer. Goldstone has over 37 years of local government finance and management experience. He was previously the City of San Diego’s chief operating officer (COO) from 2008-2013 and well as the City’s chief financial officer (CFO) from 2006-2008 and 2012-2013. In his capacity as both CFO and COO, he guided the City through a Security and Exchange Commission investigation, restructured the City’s financial operations, managed day-to-day operations of all facets of City operations, and worked closely with the mayor and City Council to develop and implement numerous policies and programs. Prior to the City of San Diego, Goldstone served as director of finance for both the City of Pasadena (1996 to 2006) and the City of Richmond from 1988 to 2005. While working for the City of Richmond, Goldstone also served as interim city manager for one year. Goldstone earned a bachelor’s degree in political science, economics and business administration from the University of Minnesota, a master’s degree in public administration from Arizona State University and a master’s degree in business administration from Santa Clara University.

Upon being sworn in as the 37th mayor of the City of San Diego, Gloria intends to conduct a national search in order to find a permanent chief operating officer for the City. Additional appointments to the Gloria administration will be named in the weeks ahead.

Any individuals interested in applying to serve in the Gloria administration should visit

Gloria, the son of a maid and a gardener, is the first person-of-color and the first LGBTQ person to be elected mayor in city history. 


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