Maria Pilar Lorenzo is a development professional whose initial work experience focused on managing technical-vocational schools for girls 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 young people.

As a researcher, her research areas and publications have dealt with governance, public sector innovations, and development issues. Her recent research projects are on the interplay of ASEAN and Philippine Higher Education Institutions and on the nexus of peace and local government innovations. She also recently formed part of the five-consultant team providing strategic advice for the Education and Local Government sectors with regard to the ongoing National Rightsizing Program, a priority bill of the incumbent Philippine administration. Her research projects have been supported and funded by the United Nations Development Programme, David-Herzog Fonds, Philippine Department of Budget and Management, and Local Government Academy.

She has received merit-based scholarship for most of her education from Kindergarten until graduate school. At present, she is pursuing Master of International Politics at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven). She obtained Advanced Master of Science in Cultures and Development Studies (cum laude) from KU Leuven as a VLIR-UOS scholar, and Master of Public Administration from the University of the Philippines where she was a consistent University Scholar (equivalent to summa cum laude), and obtained the highest weighted average for AY 2016 and the highest grade for the comprehensive examination in September 2017. She attended postgraduate study in Humanities in Rome, obtained bachelor’s degree cum laude, and finished high school with honors.

She is currently a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (United Kingdom) and of the United Nations Associations of the United States of America’s (UNA-USA) Emerging Leadership Fellowship. Her recent scholarships and grants are from UNICEF, Asia-Europe Foundation, International Organization for Migration Prague, United Nations Office at Geneva, Institute for Anthropological Research in Africa, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, Philippine Social Science Council, and All-China Youth Federation. She has also been a delegate of the institutions she is affiliated with in some international conferences and high-level meetings such as the 2019 Global Forum on Migration and Development of the United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth (January 2020), 11th International Forum of NGOs in Official Partnership with UNESCO (December 2019), OECD Local Development Forum (December 2019), AidEx 2019 (November 2019), Asia Pacific Youth Symposium (July 2018), Galing Pook Good Governance Forum on Federalism and the Local Government Code in partnership with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (April 2018), Innovation for Inclusive Impact Asia Forum (April 2018), Youth Solutions Forum 2017 (July 2017), 17th Conference of the Science Council of Asia (June 2017), among others.

Her general interests fall within the ambit of Social Sciences and of Humanities. She uses her inter-disciplinary exposure to attain a broad understanding and an integrated analysis of issues. Apart from her degrees, she also took up courses on philosophy, diplomacy, social entrepreneurship, land use planning, organic agriculture, languages, and arts. She is also a licensed teacher through the Philippine Civil Service Commission’s Licensure for Teachers, and a certified trainer through JobStart Life Skills Trainer’s Program and German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Auslandshandelskammer Certification on Train the Trainer. In the past, she received certifications from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority as an accredited NCII Cook and NCII Baker. She wrote a book entitled “Crossroads: Musings of a Millennial”, and she used to be an organist and a drummer in a high school band. Her hobbies include reading, writing, traveling, making art, and having conversations with different sorts of people.

She is happy to be involved in some volunteer work since college. At present, she collaborates with Reredos, an artist collective that explores philosophical ruminations about life through various art media. She and her friends also organize from time to time leadership and wellness programs, and visits to orphanages, home for the aged, indigent families, and public hospitals. Her present advocacy involves enhancing the skills and appreciation of young Filipino people towards research and science-based policy-making.

*Photo by Cyril dela Roca


This is a collection of Pia’s recent writings. Most of the written works here are intended to focus on development, governance and inter-institutional collaborations, but there are also sections on humanities. In particular, the entries found here are book chapters, policy articles, think pieces, op-eds, abstracts of ongoing studies, and event recaps. All these (except the ones in Gallery and in Poetry) are published in other platforms, either in print or in web.

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

*Logo by Marie Pellejo