Jayo Miko Macasaquit
Jayo Miko Macasaquit is the Chief People Officer at The 19th.
Jayo Miko Macasaquit is the Chief People Officer at The 19th, an independent, nonprofit newsroom reporting at the intersection of gender, politics and policy. After a brief childhood in the Philippines, Jayo and his family immigrated to New Zealand to seek both greener pastures and a more stable upbringing. The standardized and well-supported social systems allowed him a well-rounded educational experience in stark contrast with failing systems in his birth country.
He moved to the United States at the age of 17 and with a strong mastery of the written word, he was able to receive a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Theatre by 21, and a Master of Fine Arts in Writing by the age of 23. Throughout Jayo’s career, his passions have always sided with the underserved. His experiences both as an immigrant and as a gay man have given him a hardened intersectional insight towards navigating power and privilege throughout his career. He has consistently used writing as a force to bring the unheard voices of the oppressed to the forefront, as well as his own. In his Master's thesis, he produced a quantitative prose-driven narrative around the murder of his grandmother in the Philippines, while contextualizing her death within the culture of its rural setting. A writer at heart, he frequently brings his personal experiences as soft allegories for societal ills and most recently has been published by Efniks in his raw take on a past breakup while highlighting racial fetization and self-love.
Jayo’s academic life blossomed through cause-driven pursuits. He learned quickly that passion and process go hand-in-hand; his community organizing always focusing on building teams that reflect the core issues while still maximizing impact. As an undergraduate, he led several large organizations through fiscally-sound diversity-centered programming while leading progressive initiatives to benefit marginalized communities. As a graduate student, his efforts continued and through his initiatives as the Graduate Assistant for Community Engagement was chosen as a founding member of the President’s Diversity Steering Group. In the past five years, Jayo has also served as a panelist for the Horizon Foundation’s Community Issues Grant and annually helps the foundation award grants for LGBTQ projects and organizations throughout the Bay Area.
Jayo earned his stripes in the corporate world. He started his professional path by building operations for a company that helped homeowners dispute insurance claims in the face of disaster. Bringing his personal experience and training into practice, he’s helped maneuver organizations through difficult human resource issues requiring nuance, compassion, and a strong sense of fairness. Through grace and empathy, he’s been able to build spaces for people to grow while building processes for people to thrive. Knowing that doing the right thing is often the hardest path, he’s been able to cultivate cultures of change fueled by genuine interdependency. Maybe adding a bit of sauce while he’s at it.
By far his greatest sources of pride lie in his more private life. He’s a proud parent of a rescue greyhound named Lyla, a proud farmer of his backyard patch in Oakland, a proud cook of traditional Filipino fare, and more recently a proud woodworker of amateur furniture. In his spare time, if he can swing it, he’s also a musician.