Degree in Social Work, Univ. of the Philippines; 1998, MPA, Kennedy School, Harvard, Littauer Fellow and Mason Fellow. Social development professional with over 30 years of experience as a leader in Philippine civil society and a practitioner of community organizing and people empowerment through involvement in different local and international NGOs. Currently, Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD); spearheads projects for poverty-reduction, social protection and disaster relief operations. National Project Director: KALAHI-CIDSS (Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan or Linking Arms to Combat Poverty - Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services); Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, investing in the health and education of poor households; National Household Targeting System, which identifies who and where the poor are in the country, and helps determine which social interventions best suit their needs. Also has steered the Department's actions and services for disaster victims, such as relief distribution, temporary housing and livelihoods. Recognized as one of Ten Outstanding Women in the Nation's Service (TOWNS) in the field of Agrarian Reform and Community Development (1992).