Maria Pilar Lorenzo, MIP, MCADES, MPA, FRSA, LPT

As a researcher, Maria Pilar Lorenzo is fascinated with examining issues relating to higher education regionalization, governance, and social (in)equity. Her most recent study investigates the cross-border research of a Philippine higher education institution within the ambit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. 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 the Center for Local and Regional Governance, Palgrave Macmillan, Graz University Press, UN Office at Geneva, and 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 (Belgium) 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 (Belgium) and Master of Public Administration (summa cum laude ranking, top of the cohort) at the University of the Philippines (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. Her various scholarships have enabled her to undertake further academic training organized by the Indiana University, University of Illinois, University of Lausanne, University of Copenhagen, United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies, University of Hohenheim, Institute of Advanced Studies Köszeg, Charles University, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, University of Graz, Kobe University, and Santa Croce University. Apart from her training in Social Sciences, she is also interested in disciplines relating to Humanities, having taken courses on philosophy, music, languages, and arts.

She is currently a Research Associate of the Philippine Society for Public Administration, a Member of the Pacific Forum Young Leaders Program, a Member of the ASEAN Think Tanks Network (by invitation only), an Associate Member of the National Research Council of the Philippines, a Member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, and she was recently a Fellow of the Regional Academy on the United Nations. Her profile and works have been featured in media platforms such as PhilStar, Good News Pilipinas, University of the Philippines, Agenparl, The Post, Reader’s Channel, JiP Portal, SBS Australia, ABS-CBN, and she has been mentioned in Khoa Hoc Phattrien and Vietnam Net. Some of the honors and awards she received include the STAR Scholars Network’s A. Noam Chomsky Global Connections Award (Rising Star Emerging Scholar Certificate), YSEALI Women’s Leadership Academy Alumni Network’s recognition as one of the 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.

Prior to pursuing graduate studies, Maria Pilar Lorenzo 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 Auslandshandelskammer 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, and explore the variegated beauty of the world. Occasionally, she collaborates with Reredos, an artist collective that explores philosophical ruminations about life through various art media. She wrote their curatorial statements for two art exhibits (a rust-to-art and a collective exhibition). In 2017, her non-academic book entitled “Crossroads: Musings of a Millennial” was published by Mt. Carmel Print House. Since high school, she has also been involved in other volunteer works, mostly relating to organizing and raising funds for summer schools, leadership programs, cultural events, and outreach 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

One thought on “Profile

  1. 😮😮😮 Wow. I’m fascinated by these huge achievements. Miss Maria is changing the wold already. Are there any program or forum where you engage young minds who aspire to do what you’re doing? If there is (are), I’m so interested in joining.


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