Celina Pacana

Program Manager

Celina Pacana is the Program Manager for Merritt’s Commitment to California Initiatives. She joined the Merritt team in 2023, after three years of building her career in economic development.

Prior to joining Merritt, Celina was Assistant Program Officer at LISC LA, a national nonprofit CDFI. At LISC, she supported diverse-owned small businesses in underinvested communities in Los Angeles through deploying flexible capital and designing technical assistance programs. Previously, she was also Assistant Program Manager at the LA County Economic Development Corporation, where she worked on workforce development programs for key industry clusters in the region.

Celina was born and raised in Manila, Philippines, and is a first-generation college graduate. Her lived experiences inform her commitment to equity and building strong job outcomes for diverse individuals seeking careers in affordable housing and community development at large.

She graduated cum laude from the University of the Philippines with a Bachelor of Science in Economics, with concentrations in Communications and Political Science.