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

Prior to pursuing graduate studies, Maria Pilar Lorenzo was a development professional and 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. Her love for teaching and passion for sharing what she has learned made her devote some years to teach and mentor the youth.

As a researcher, she is fascinated with examining issues relating to higher education regionalization processes, national and supra-national policies and practices, governance and public sector innovations, and social (in)equities. 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 with regard to the National Rightsizing Program, a priority bill of the incumbent administration. 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 publications include “The imperatives of peace for development in the Philippines” (Center for Local and Regional Governance), “Social equity in the Philippines” (Palgrave Macmillan), “Jewish migration in the Philippines” (Graz University Press), among others. She also has three forthcoming co-authored chapters in edited volumes to be published by Palgrave Macmillan, Springer, and World Scientific. In addition, her think pieces have appeared in Channel NewsAsia, East Asia Forum, Modern Diplomacy, etc.

She joined Ghent University’s Centre for Higher Education Governance Ghent team as a PhD candidate in November 2020, and recently completed Master of Science in International Politics (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, 2020, magna cum laude), Advanced Master of Science in Cultural Anthropology and Development Studies (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, 2019, cum laude), and Master of Public Administration (University of the Philippines, 2018, summa cum laude ranking, top of the cohort). She also completed further academic programs at the 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, and Kobe University. She was considered as a Scholar of the Nation from kindergarten until graduate school, and she obtained her bachelor’s degree cum laude and finished high school with honors. 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 has been a recipient of cumulatively 70+ grants, scholarships, honors, and awards including the recognition by YSEALI Women’s Leadership Academy Alumni Network as one of the 2020 cohort of women leaders in Southeast Asia. She was also the sole fellow from Southeast Asia at the United Nations’ 57th Graduate Study Program in Geneva, and has been a selected delegate in some international fora and high-level meetings. She is currently a Fellow of the Regional Academy on the United Nations, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Research Associate of the Philippine Society for Public Administration, an Associate Member of the National Research Council of the Philippines, a Member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, and a Member of the ASEAN Think Tanks Network (by invitation only). She is also 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.

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. In addition, she has also been involved in some volunteer work since high school. She has organized and raised funds for summer schools, leadership programs, cultural events, and visits to orphanages, home for the aged, indigent families, and public hospitals. Her present advocacy involves enhancing the appreciation of Filipino people towards research and science-based policy-making. Occasionally, she also collaborates with Reredos, an artist collective that explores philosophical ruminations about life through various art media.


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. All the written works are published in other platforms in print and/or in web.

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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