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. Of all the things relating to her previous NGO work, she is most grateful to have contributed to the rapid employment rate of their students and to the upward social mobility of their families.

As a researcher, she uses her interdisciplinary exposure to have a broad understanding and an integrated analysis of issues. Her research areas focus on governance (regional governance, administration, public sector innovations) and development issues (social (in)equity, human development, higher education). She is currently a fellow of the Regional Academy on the United Nations, a Research Associate of the Philippine Society for Public Administration, and a Research Affiliate of the Asian Society for Public Administration. Recently, she served as a Co-Investigator for a study on peace and security local government innovations funded by the Local Government Academy, and formed part of a research team that provided strategic advice to the Education and Local Government sectors with regard to the ongoing Philippine National Rightsizing Program, a priority bill of the incumbent administration.

Her research publications have been published by the Palgrave Macmillan, Graz University Publishing, United Nations Office at Geneva, Pakistan Development Review, National Research Council of the Philippines Research Journal, and Philippine Governance Digest. In addition, her think pieces have appeared in Modern Diplomacy, Shabka, World Youth Alliance, BookBed, Development Policy Blog (Australian National University), and Conflict, Peace and Democracy Policy Blog (University of Graz). She also served as the Managing Editor of Philippine Governance Digest and the Copy Editor of the Rapid Field Appraisal, “Decentralization, Democratization and Development: An Agenda for Reform”, both published in 2017 by the Philippine Society for Public Administration with support from the United Nations Development Programme.

She has received merit-based scholarships for most of her education. She is currently finishing Master of International Politics at the Katholieke Universiteit (KU) Leuven (current standing: magna cum laude) in Belgium, and she holds an Advanced Master of Science in Cultural Anthropology and Development Studies (cum laude) from KU Leuven as a VLIR-UOS scholar, and Master of Public Administration from University of the Philippines (UP) where she ranked first in her batch, obtained the highest grade in the comprehensive examination, and received consistent honorific scholarship as a University Scholar (equivalent to summa cum laude). She has also undergone further education organized by other institutions including Institute of Advanced Studies Köszeg (Hungary), Charles University (Czech Republic), United Nations Office at Geneva (sole delegate from Southeast Asia in the 57th UN Graduate Study Programme, Switzerland), University of Graz (Austria), National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (Japan), National University of Singapore, and Osaka University (Japan). She obtained bachelor’s degree cum laude, finished high school with honors, and considered as a Scholar of the Nation from Kindergarten until tertiary level.

Apart from her social science degrees, she also attended postgraduate courses in Humanities at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (with an average equivalent to magna cum laude) in Italy, and completed a non-diploma program in Philosophy offered by the Kalinangan Youth Foundation (with an average equivalent to magna cum laude) in the Philippines. She also took up courses on languages, music, and arts. She is a licensed 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 the past, she also received certifications from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority as an accredited NCII Cook and NCII Baker.

Her recent grants and bursaries are from the United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies, UN Office for South-South Cooperation, University of Hohenheim, Global Solutions Initiative, University of Antwerp, United Nations International Children’s Fund, The Fund for American Studies, Asia-Europe Foundation, International Organization for Migration Prague, United Nations Office at Geneva, Institute for Anthropological Research in Africa, VLIR-UOS, David-Herzog Fönds, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, All-China Youth Federation, Local Government Academy, Philippine Social Science Council, and UP National College of Public Administration and Governance.

Recently, she has been selected and featured as one of the 2020 cohort of leading women in Southeast Asia by the SoutheastAsianWomen.org, an initiative of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Women’s Leadership Academy Alumni Network. She is also a certified fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a certified member of the World Youth Alliance, an Associate Member of the National Research Council of the Philippines, and a lifetime member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

She has been a selected delegate of the institutions she is affiliated with in some international conferences and high-level meetings such as the Global Solutions Summit 2020, 2019 Global Forum on Migration and Development of the United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth, 11th International Forum of NGOs in Official Partnership with UNESCO, 2019 OECD Local Development Forum, 2018 Asia Pacific Youth Symposium, 2018 Galing Pook Good Governance Forum on Federalism and the Local Government Code in partnership with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, 2018 Innovation for Inclusive Impact Asia Forum, Youth Solutions Forum 2017, 17th Conference of the Science Council of Asia, among others.

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. She wrote a book entitled “Crossroads: Musings of a Millennial” published in 2017, and she used to be an organist and a drummer in a high school band. Moreover, she is grateful to have been 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. In addition, her present advocacy involves enhancing the appreciation of young Filipino people towards research and science-based policy-making.

CV of Maria Pilar Lorenzo


This is a collection of Pia’s recent writings and engagements. Most of the written works here are intended to focus on governance, development and inter-institutional collaborations, but there are also sections on humanities. In particular, the entries found here are book chapters, policy articles, think pieces, abstracts of ongoing studies, and summary of proceedings. 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.

*Photo by Cyril dela Roca and logo by Marie Pellejo