David Nelson
Executive Director, California Forward Action Fund

David is the Executive Director of the California Forward Action Fund (CFAF), the 501c4 policy advocacy arm of California Forward (CA FWD). He oversees the efforts of the organization which strives to improve the quality of life for all Californians by advocating for policies that create inclusive, sustainable growth and improved government at the state and local levels.

David comes to the organization with over 20 years of public service experience, starting with work in the State Assembly and most recently, as the Director of Public Policy at the California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce (CalAsian). Prior to that, he was the Statewide Liaison for the California Small Business Development Centers (CA SBDC). In both roles, he actively worked with both organizations, respectively, to position them to be more active and involved with CA FWD’s California Economic Summit and the requisite policy work groups. In 2021, he served as the Co-Chair of the Small Businesses Owned by People of Color work group for the California Economic Summit.

At CalAsian, he managed the policy portfolio of the organization through the tumultuous times of the COVID pandemic and AAPI hate. He wrote two pieces of legislation: AB 915 (Chiu) and AB 2019 (Petrie Norris), both of which were supported by the CFAF and would codify the State’s 25% small business procurement goal. He also worked closely with the AAPI Legislative Caucus in supporting the “AAPI Equity Budget” in 2021, as well as managed the CalAsian Issues and Candidates PACs.

Over the course of his career, he has served as a Trustee on the Sierra College Joint Community College Board, a Transportation Commissioner for the City of Roseville, the Board of Directors for Los Angeles Business Federation (LA BizFed) and a member of the UC Davis Health Community Advisory Board.