Joy Aceron   

Joy Aceron is program director at the Ateneo de Manila School of Government, directing the Government Watch (G-Watch) and Political Democracy and Reforms (PODER) programs, which aims to contribute to democratic deepening in the Philippines. A graduate of the University of the Philippines–Diliman with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a master’s degree in Public Administration major in Public Policy, she occasionally lectures at the Ateneo de Manila Political Science Department and School of Government. She has several published works on political party and electoral reform, social accountability and leadership, and has more than ten years of experience in grassroots citizenship education and civil society-government engagement

Albert Alejo   


Albert Alejo is involved in Jesuit priestly ministry, anti-corruption efforts, interreligious dialogue, indigenous peoples’ rights advocacy, and social development in the Ateneo de Zamboanga University. He has campaigned for good governance for over a decade. His current advocacy revolves around strengthening reform in the Bureau of Customs, through the Citizens-Customs Action Network (CITIZCAN). He is the founding editor of Asia Mindanaw, a journal on peace and development, and is a member of the National Committee for Literary Arts of the NCCA. He holds a doctorate in anthropology from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. 

Monica C. Ang   


Monica C. Ang is a lecturer at the School of Law and Governance, University of Asia and the Pacific. She is a founding member of the Philippine Center for Civic Education and Democracy, a non-profit organization working on democratization issues like rule of law and participatory budgeting, where she was former program director of Project Citizen Philippines. She graduated with a Master of Arts in Political Economy with a specialization in International Relations and Development at the University of Asia and the Pacific and finished her PhD in Development Studies at the De La Salle University–Manila. Her research interests include transnational activism, civic education, economic citizenship, development administration, network governance, and democratization.​

James Atkinson   


James Atkinson earned a PhD in political science in 2014 from the University of Michigan. He currently works for a research consulting firm in Washington, DC. His research interests include the domestic strategic uses and consequences of humanitarian aid in emergency situations. Prior to attending graduate school, he worked with an international relief and development organization in Cambodia, El Salvador, and Pakistan.​

Edsel L. Beja Jr.   


Edsel L. Beja Jr. teaches economics at Ateneo de Manila University. He does research in the areas of macroeconomics, political economy, and welfare and wellbeing economics. In 2008, he was declared Outstanding Young Scientist in the field of Economics by the National Academy of Science and Technology and received the Outstanding Scholarly Work Award in the Social Sciences from Ateneo de Manila University. Professor Beja holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Tristan A. Canare   


Tristan A. Canare is an economist at the AIM Rizalino S. Navarro Policy Center for Competitiveness. He was previously involved in research on competitiveness, mining, voting patterns, and micro, small and medium enterprises. He was formerly with the Asia-Pacific Policy Center and the Institute for Development and Econometric Analysis where he did works on economic, development, and industry research. He holds an M.A. in Economics and Master in Development Economics degrees from the U.P. School of Economics.

Cesi Cruz   


Cesi Cruz (PhD UC San Diego) is an assistant professor of the Department of Political Science and Institute of Asian Research at the University of British Columbia (UBC). She studies political economy in Southeast Asia, with a focus on the interplay between electoral incentives and economic development outcomes. Her research uses quantitative and qualitative methods, social network analysis, surveys, and field experiments. She is affiliated with UBC’s Center for Southeast Asia Research.

Clarissa C. David   


Clarissa C. David is a Professor at the University of the Philippines, College of Mass Communication and a Fellow at the Social Weather Stations, Inc. Her areas of research interests in communication include frame analysis, social media and disasters, political communication, public opinion, and effects of news on knowledge and engagement. In addition to communication, she conducts policy research for education, health, and governance in the Philippines. She received her MA and PhD from Communication from the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.

Edilberto de Jesus   


Edilberto de Jesus, Professor Emeritus, served as the president of the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) from 2009 to 2012. Prior to this appointment, he was president of the University of the Cordilleras in Baguio City (2008–2009). He accepted a concurrent appointment as Presidential Adviser on Rural Development in the Aquino Cabinet in 1988 while serving as Deputy Commissioner in the Peace Commission. He returned to AIM in 1992 as Associate Dean for Research (1992–1995), leading the team that established the AIM Policy Forum, and serving as its first Chair. He then served as president of Far Eastern University (FEU) in Manila in 1995. From 1995 to 2002, he served on the boards of the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities (PACU) and the Coordinating Council for Private Educational Associations. In 2002, he was appointed Secretary of Education before serving as Secretariat Director (2005–2007) of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) in Bangkok. Dr. de Jesús completed his Master of Philosophy and PhD in History at Yale University. He graduated cum laude from the BA Honors Course in the Humanities of Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU). AdMU, FEU, and Xavier University Cagayan de Oro have conferred on him a Ph. D. in the Humanities, Honoris Causa.

Melinda Quintos de Jesus   


Melinda Quintos de Jesus established the Center for Media Freedom &Responsibility (CMFR) in 1989 where she continues to work as executive director. She is also the publisher of the annual journalism review Media Times. Early in her career, Ms. De Jesus wrote critically of the Marcos regime as a columnist in the Bulletin Today before being eased out of her post for her anti-regime sentiment. She then held the posts of deputy editor, columnist and editor-in-chief of Veritas Newsweekly at the forefront of the “alternative press” at the time before its closure in 1988. She wrote a column for a number of Manila dailies (Philippine Daily Inquirer, The Philippine Star, Evening News, Isyu) and worked as a commentator for both radio and television talk shows. Ms. De Jesus has served several terms on the council of the International Freedom of Expression eXchange (IFEX) and the steering committee of the World Movement for Democracy (WMD). She is a founding member of the board of trustees of the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) and the Freedom Fund for Filipino Journalists, Inc. (FFFJ). She was journalist-in-residence at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and a fellow of the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy of the John F. Kennedy School at Harvard University. Ms. De Jesus received the Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. Fellowship for Professional Development in 2000 in recognition of her efforts to strengthen Philippine democracy by promoting higher standards of media responsibility and professionalism. 

Leon G. Flores III   

Leon G. Flores III specializes in youth development having served as the Chairman & CEO of the National Youth Commission (NYC) from 2011 to 2014. Under his term as Undersecretary, the NYC launched the Philippine Youth Development Index, and with the Department of Education, launched Abot Alam, a convergent program for out-of-school youth. He was a researcher/contributor to Asian Development Bank’s “Youth Engagement Guide” and is engaged in an energy-related development program. He was a multi-awarded youth leader and graduated from the University of the Philippines Cebu College with the degree in Business Management, cum laude. He witnessed the challenges encountered by political parties having served as the Vice-President for Education and Research of the political party Aksyon Demokratiko (AD) and the National President of AD’s youth arm, Aksyon Kabataan. He is the Executive Director for Aksyong Kabayanihan para sa Organisadong Pagbabago (ANGKOP) which aims to increase youth political participation. He wears an active civil society hat pushing for the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill through the Right to Know Right Now Coalition (R2KRN) and the Anti-Political Dynasty bill through the Anti-Dynasty Movement (AndayaMo). He is a co-convener of the No More Epal movement—a nationwide shame campaign against credit-grabbing politicians.

Cielito F. Habito   

Cielito F. Habito is a Filipino economist, professor, and columnist. He is Professor of Economics at the Ateneo de Manila University, where he was the Director of the Ateneo Center for Economic Research and Development (ACERD) for 11 years. He served concurrently as the Secretary of Socio-Economic Planning and Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority during the Ramos administration in 1992–1998. He is one of the 1991 Ten Outstanding Young Men Awardees for Economics. He also writes the weekly column “No Free Lunch” in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

​Allen Hicken   

Allen Hicken studies political institutions and political economy in developing countries. His primary focus has been on political parties and party systems in developing democracies and their role in policy making. His regional specialty is Southeast Asia where he has worked in Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Cambodia. Professor Hicken is the author of Building Party Systems in Developing Democracies, published by Cambridge University Press in 2009. Featuring in-depth case studies of Thailand and the Philippines, this book addresses the question of why a party system with a modest number of nationally oriented political parties emerges in some democracies but not others. Professor Hicken is also the editor of Politics of Modern Southeast Asia: Critical Issues in Modern Politics (Routledge Press, 2009), which is a four-volume compilation of works on modern Southeast Asian politics His latest book, coedited with Erik Kuhonta is entitled Party and Party System Institutionalization in Asia (Cambridge, 2014). It explores the organization of political parties and party systems across Asia.

Anders C. Johansson   

Anders C. Johansson is Associate Professor in Economics and the Director of the Stockholm China Economic Research Institute at Stockholm School of Economics. Johansson has held visiting positions at a number of international universities, including Harvard University, Columbia University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong University, Peking University, Fudan University, and Thammasat University. He has published widely in leading international journals, including World Development, Journal of Comparative Economics, Journal of Banking and Finance, and The World Economy. Besides economics, Johansson has a background in Asian studies. He has done work within various fields of economics, always with a focus on East and Southeast Asia. Most of his more recent research lies at the intersection of economics and politics, and in particular centers on government-business relations in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the People’s Republic of China.


Yuta Kamahara   

Yuta Kamahara is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Urban Innovation, Yokohama National University, Japan. His current research focuses primarily on predicting and analyzing the onset of civil wars through quantitative analysis and on political methodology, especially measuring and quantifying democracy and political systems. He has published several articles on democratic theory and measures of democracy in Japanese. Kamahara holds a PhD in Law (Political Science) from Keio University, Japan.

Veerayooth Kanchoochat   

Veerayooth Kanchoochat is an Assistant Professor of Political Economy at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS, Tokyo). He holds an Engineering and Economics degrees from Chulalongkorn University, and an MPhil and a PhD from the University of Cambridge, UK. His research interests include the politics of economic growth, institutional economics, industrial policy, East and Southeast Asian development. His past research and teaching experience is affiliated with Chulalongkorn’s Political Economy Centre, Cambridge’s Center of Development Studies, and the Overseas Development Institute in London. 

Yuko Kasuya   

Yuko Kasuya is a Professor of Political Science at the Faculty of Law, Keio University in Tokyo, Japan. Her research interests include democratization, political institutions, accountability, transparency, and Southeast Asia. She is the author of Comparative Politics (in Japanese, Miverva Publishing, 2014) and Presidential Bandwagon: Parties and Party Systems in the Philippines (Keio University Press, 2008/Anvil, 2009). She has also edited Presidents, Assemblies, and Policy-Making in Asia (Palgrave MacMillan, 2013) and Politics of Change in the Philippines (co-edited with Nathan Quimpo, Anvil, 2010). Her articles have appeared in Electoral Studies, The Pacific Affairs, and Party Politics. Kasuya holds a PhD in International Affairs from the University of California, San Diego, an MA in Development Studies from Institute of Social Studies (Netherlands), and a BA in Political Science from Keio University. Her research has been funded by the Abe fellowship, Fulbright scholarship, Rotary scholarship, and other sources. She was a visiting scholar at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford University from 2010 to 2012.

Antonio G.M. La Viña   

Antonio G.M. La Viña is the Dean of the Ateneo School of Government, an instructor at the UP College of Law, and professor of the Philippine Judicial Academy. He also teaches Theory of Law and International Environmental Litigation at the Ateneo Law School. In addition, he lectures at the Environmental Science, Political Science, and Philosophy Departments in the Loyola Schools of the Ateneo de Manila University. His legal and governance expertise encompasses climate change, biodiversity, biosafety policy, mining, energy, forestry, indigenous peoples’ rights, community-based natural resources management, consensus building and negotiations, social accountability, local government, legal philosophy, and public ethics. He has authored many books, research monographs, and journal articles published widely in the Philippines and internationally. He worked for the World Resources Institute (WRI), an environmental think tank based in Washington DC, for eight years before returning to the Philippines. From 1996–1998, Dean Tony was an Undersecretary at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Before that, he co-founded the Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center, a leading human rights and environmental organization and was a member of the regular faculty of the UP College of Law. He ranked third in the 1989 Bar Examinations.

Julien Labonne   

Julien Labonne is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford. His research, at the intersection of economics, political science, and public policy, is concerned with how elected politicians stay in power and about some of its economic and social consequences. He carries out field experiments, designs household surveys, and uses large-scale datasets to test models of voter and politician behavior in developing countries. He has a particular interest in Southeast Asia and most of his fieldwork takes place in the Philippines. Julien completed his DPhil in economics at the University of Oxford (September 2013) and he holds Master degrees from the University of Oxford, University College London, and ENSAE Paris Tech. Prior to his doctoral work, he had consulted extensively for the OECD and the World Bank. 

Mario Antonio G. Lopez   

Mario Antonio G. Lopez is part of the core faculty of the Asian Institute of Management (AIM). He specializes in Human Behavior in Organizations. He teaches programs at the Center for Development Management (CDM) and the Executive Education and Lifelong Learning Center (EXCELL). He has served as Assistant Dean for EXCELL and Associate Dean for the CDM. Professor Lopez holds a Master in Business Management from the Asian Institute of Management (1970) and a Master in Public Administration from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government (1975) as a joint Center for Population Studies and Edward S. Mason Fellow for Economic Development. He completed his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of the Philippines (1968). He is currently completing his doctoral studies in development studies at the De La Salle University.

Jess Lorenzo   

Jess Lorenzo is currently a member of the Kaya Natin Board of Trustees, a movement for Ethical Leaders and Good Governance. His area of expertise includes leadership development and stakeholder engagement. He has worked with several proponents of good governance in the Philippines namely; the Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, Congressman Bolet Banal, and Sonia Lorenzo, Mayor of San Isidro Nueva Ecija. Mr. Lorenzo has vast experience working in local government as well as establishing people empowerment programs such as the “Salud Mo, Kusog Ko” (Your Health, My Health) project of Congresswoman Leni Robredo, a senior wellness program in the 3rd District of Camarines Sur. He has likewise delved into youth and education development programs to foster stakeholder ownership. A proficient public communicator, Mr. Lorenzo has written thought-provoking and compelling online articles for media outfit, ABS-CBN.

Ma. Fe Villamejor-Mendoza   

Ma. Fe Villamejor-Mendoza is Professor of Public Administration and Public Policy and the current Dean of NCPAG, University of the Philippines Diliman. She teaches courses both at the undergraduate and graduate programs (e.g., Bachelor, Master and Doctor of Public Administration), in the fields of public policy, public enterprise management, development models, administrative theories and governance. Professor Mendoza was formerly Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (2010–2013) and Dean of the Faculty of Management and Development Studies (2007–2010) of the UP Open University. She rose from the ranks (Senior Research Assistant) and has been involved in various research, training, consultancy, and extension services of the NCPAG since 1983. She has published a number of books, book chapter, journal articles, policy monographs and working paper series on such topics as Privatization, Liberalization and Public Sector Reform; Competition and Regulation of Electricity Markets, Influencing Public Policy, Making Regulation Work for Global Learning Community, Corporate Governance; Economic Strategies and Reform Measures for Philippine Competitiveness; and Equity and Fairness in Public-Private Partnerships.

Ronald U. Mendoza   

Ronald U. Mendoza is an Associate Professor of Economics at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), and the Executive Director of the Rizalino S. Navarro Policy Center for Competitiveness. Prior to his appointment at AIM, he was a senior economist with UNICEF’s Policy and Practice Group in New York. In addition, his research background includes work with the UN Development Programme’s Office of Development Studies, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), and several non-governmental organizations in Manila, the Philippines. Mendoza obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics (Honors Program) from the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines, his Masters in Public Administration and International Development (MPA-ID) from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and his M.A. and PhD in Economics from Fordham University. He is also a recipient of various awards, including the 2012 National Academy of Science and Technology’s Ten Outstanding Young Scientist (OYS) in the Philippines (in Economics), the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders in 2013, and Devex 40 Under 40 Development Leader in 2013.

Nico Ravanilla   

Nico Ravanilla is a candidate in the Joint PhD Program in Political Science and Public Policy at the University of Michigan. His research interests include political economy and governance. His works cover a variety of topics including distributive politics, accountability, migration, political economy of religion, and political networks. His regional area of specialization is Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines. Methodologically, he conducts randomized controlled trials in field settings, and uses novel datasets to analyze causal questions in political economy and governance. He received a BS and MA Economics at the University of the Philippines, and, as a Fulbright Scholar, an MA Economics at the University of Michigan. 

Hilton L. Root   

Hilton L. Root is a policy specialist in international political economy and development, and a member of the faculty at the George Mason University School of Policy, Government and International Affairs. His current research examines three related areas: (1) International Economic Policy; (2) Global Development; and (3) Asia’s Global Engagement. Other academic appointments include: a visiting Professor at King’s College London, visiting Senior Fellow at the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) London, faculty member at the California Institute of Technology, University of Pennsylvania, and Stanford University, Freeman Visiting Professor of Economics at Pitzer College, and Senior Fellow at Claremont Graduate University. Dr. Root  was Director and Senior Fellow of Global Studies at the Milken Institute, and Senior Research Fellow and Director of the Initiative on Economic Growth and Democracy at the Hoover Institution. 

Ma. Rosel S. San Pascual   

Ma. Rosel S. San Pascual is currently an Assistant Professor at the Department of Communication Research of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication (UP CMC). She is an alumna of the UP CMC, graduating magna cum laude in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Research. That same year, she was also recognized as one of the most outstanding graduates by the Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society. Assistant Professor San Pascual also holds two master’s degrees: one in Development Economics from the University of the Philippines School of Economics and another in Communications and New Media from the National University of Singapore. She is currently taking her PhD in Communication at the UP CMC. Assistant Professor San Pascual has been teaching for over 12 years. Aside from her background in teaching, she also has extensive academic and applied research experience in communication and new media, ICT and development, and transnational migration. She served as a consultant of Shell Philippines Exploration BV, American Chamber of Commerce, MB Soft Corporation Philippines, among others, and as a researcher in projects with UNFPA Vietnam, UNFPA Cambodia, UNICEF, World Health Organization, Philippine Association for Diabetes Educators, among others.

Lila Shahani   

Lila Shahani is currently Head of Communications of the Human Development and Poverty Reduction (HDPR) Cabinet Cluster, which covers 26 government agencies dealing with poverty and development. She is also Spokesperson of the Advocacy and Communications Group of the Inter-Agency Council Against (Human) Trafficking (IACAT). She was formerly Assistant Secretary and Head of Communications of the National Anti-Poverty Commission and Deputy Director of the Museo ng Kalinangang Pilipino at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. She has taught at the Asian Institute of Management, the Ateneo School of Government and the University of the Philippines. She also worked for Oxford University Press, the United Nations Children’s Fund, and the United Nations Development Programme while living in New York. She has published widely, both in academic and journalistic contexts. She has also co-edited a book by Oxford scholars on Amartya Sen’s theories on development. She grew up in such far-flung places as Romania, Australia, Austria, Kenya, India, the US and the UK. Asec. Shahani did her undergraduate work at Brown University, received a Masters Degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and is now a doctoral candidate at Oxford University.

Julio C. Teehankee   

Julio C. Teehankee is Full Professor of Comparative Politics and International Development Studies at De La Salle University where he also serves as the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. He is the Executive Secretary of the Asian Political and International Studies Association (APISA)—the regional professional organization of scholars in political science, international relations, and allied disciplines. He completed his postdoctoral studies at the Graduate Schools of Law and Politics at the University of Tokyo, Japan and obtained his PhD in Development Studies from De La Salle University.

Prijono Tjiptoherijanto   

Prijono Tjiptoherijanto is a professor of Economics at the University of Indonesia. He obtained his PhD in Economics from University of Hawaii, USA, in 1981. He was a visiting professor at the Kobe University (2006), Hiroshima University (2009), and Yokohama National University (2013). His career in the government sector involved positions such as Assistant to the Minister for the State Secretariat, Head of the National Civil Service Agency, and Secretary to the Vice President in 2000–2005. Currently he is a commissioner of the Civil Service Commission (CSC), the first CSC of the Indonesian Republic since it gained independence 70 years ago.

Victor S. Venida   

Victor S. Venida is Professor of Economics and lecturer at the Development Studies Program and the European Studies Programme of the Ateneo de Manila University. He finished his MS in Economics at London School of Economics and his PhD in Economics at New York University. His research interests include development economics, urban and regional analysis, cultural and architectural heritage, Marxian economics and history of economics. 

Wong Mun Loong   

Wong Mun Loong is a visiting senior fellow in the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. He is also an Associate Professor in the University of Nottingham, Malaysian campus. Professor Wong Mun Loong has worked in Australian universities for over 20 years.

David B. Yap II   

David B. Yap II is an Economist at the AIM Rizalino S. Navarro Policy Center for Competitiveness. He is presently an instructor at the Ateneo de Manila University. He was also a lecturer at the University of the Philippines School of Statistics. He is currently undertaking research under the Democracy and Inclusive Growth program of the Center in collaboration with professors from the Ateneo de Manila University. He is also involved in the youth barometer project and policy research on equity, youth and child rights, and inclusive growth. He has written several statistical papers on Philippine population growth and poverty incidence, public satisfaction on presidential performance, Philippine regional economic growth and convergence, and economic transition and growth in the Philippines. Mr. Yap obtained his Bachelor of Science in Statistics degree from the University of the Philippines Diliman (Magna Cum Laude) in 2008 and his MA in Economics from the Ateneo de Manila University in 2010.