Maria Pilar Lorenzo, PhD (cand), MIP, MCADES, MPA, LPT

Brief Bio

Maria Pilar Lorenzo is a PhD candidate at Ghent University’s Centre for Higher Education Governance Ghent. She holds an MSc degree in International Politics and an Advanced MSc degree in Cultural Anthropology and Development Studies from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of the Philippines. As a researcher, she is fascinated with examining issues relating to higher education regionalization, governance, and social (in)equity. She is also a licensed professional teacher and a certified trainer.

Extended Bio

Maria Pilar Lorenzo is fascinated with examining issues relating to higher education regionalization, governance, and social (in)equity. Her current (doctoral) research project seeks to scrutinize higher education regional mechanisms in Southeast Asia. Recently, she formed part of a research team that provided strategic advice to the Philippine Education and Local Government sectors concerning the National Rightsizing Program. She also co-supervised a study on government innovations funded by the Local Government Academy and served as the Copy Editor of the latest Rapid Field Appraisal on Philippine Decentralization, Democratization and Development published by the Philippine Society for Public Administration and the United Nations Development Programme. Her research outputs have been published by Globalisation, Societies and Education, Springer, Palgrave Macmillan, Graz University Press, World Scientific, UN Office at Geneva, among others. She has also tried contributing to the public discourse through her think pieces posted in various outlets like Channel NewsAsia, East Asia Forum, Eastern Focus Quarterly, Modern Diplomacy, Development Policy Centre, Conflict, Peace and Democracy Policy Blog, Shabka, Bookbed, and World Youth Alliance.

She joined Ghent University’s Centre for Higher Education Governance Ghent as a Ph.D. candidate in November 2020, and recently completed Master of Science in International Politics (magna cum laude) and Advanced Master of Science in Cultural Anthropology and Development Studies (cum laude) as a VLIR-UOS scholar at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and Master of Public Administration (summa cum laude ranking, top of the cohort) at the University of the Philippines. She completed her bachelor’s degree and high school both cum laude, and she was considered as a Scholar of the Nation at the University of the Philippines Integrated School/University of the Philippines Diliman Campus from kindergarten until graduate school. Some of her recent awards/honors include STAR Scholars Network’s A. Noam Chomsky Global Connections Award, YSEALI Women’s Leadership Academy Alumni Network’s 2020 Women Leaders in Southeast Asia, and Opportunity Desk’s Young Person of the Month. She was also the sole fellow from Southeast Asia at the United Nations’ 57th Graduate Study Program and was also recently shortlisted for the Women of the Future Awards – Southeast Asia. Her profile and/or works/awards have been featured in media outlets such as PhilStar, ABS-CBN, Good News Pilipinas, SBS Australia, Channel NewsAsia, Adobo Magazine, The Red Circle, Agenparl, The Post, The Iskandarian, and in other platforms like Phi Kappa Phi, Women in Foreign Policy, Pinoy Scientists, and University of the Philippines.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies, she was a development professional and an educator whose work experience focused on managing technical-vocational schools for students from the marginalized sector and on providing holistic learning to young people so that they could be agents for social transformation. She is a licensed professional teacher through the Philippine Civil Service Commission’s Licensure for Teachers and a certified trainer through Asian Development Bank’s JobStart Life Skills Trainer’s Program and German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Certification on Train the Trainer. For five years, she also voluntarily carried out one-on-one career coaching to students and gave weekly lectures on themes relating to leadership and character formation. In her spare time, she likes to read, write, observe, walk around, play music, make art, converse with different sorts of people, explore the variegated beauty of the world, and participate in outreach and community activities.


This is a collection of Pia’s recent writings and engagements. Most of the posts here focus on governance and development, but there are also sections in humanities. In particular, the entries provide information about the author’s publications, programs, presentations, press involvement, among others.

The author extends her sincere thanks to all the visitors of this site.


Profile photo by Carlos and logo by Marie

Cover photo by Olia Gozha from Unsplash

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