Join us in our 65th Anniversary

The Ramon Magsaysay Award

The Ramon Magsaysay Award, Asia’s premier prize and highest honor, recognizes greatness of spirit shown in selfless service to the peoples of Asia.

Asia’s premier prize and highest honor

In over six decades, the Award has been bestowed on 348 outstanding individuals and organizations whose selfless service has offered their societies, Asia, and the world successful solutions to some of the most intractable problems of human development.

The Ramon Magsaysay Awardees, annually selected by the RMAF board of trustees, are presented with a certificate and a medallion with an embossed image of Ramon Magsaysay facing right in profile.

The Ramon Magsaysay Award was conceived to honor greatness of spirit shown in service to the peoples of Asia—regardless of race, gender, or religion.

From 1958 to 2008, the Award was given in six categories annually:

  • Government Service, to recognize outstanding service in the public interest in any branch of government, including the executive, judicial, legislative, or military;
  • Public Service, to recognize outstanding service for the public good by a private citizen;
  • Community Leadership, to recognize leadership of a community toward helping the disadvantaged have fuller opportunities and a better life;
  • Journalism, Literature, and Creative Communication Arts, to recognize effective writing, publishing, or photography or the use of radio, television, cinema, or the performing arts as a power for the public good;
  • Peace and International Understanding, to recognize contributions to the advancement of friendship, tolerance, peace, and solidarity as the foundations for sustainable development within and across countries; and
  • Emergent Leadership, to recognize an individual, forty years of age or younger, for outstanding work on issues of social change in his or her community, but whose leadership may not yet be broadly recognized outside of this community.

The category of Emergent Leadership was inaugurated in 2000 and is supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation. 

Starting in 2009, the Ramon Magsaysay Award is no longer being given in fixed Award categories, except for Emergent Leadership.

The new recipients of the Ramon Magsaysay Award are announced annually on August 31st, the birth anniversary of the esteemed Philippine President whose ideals inspired the Award’s creation in 1957. The Ramon Magsaysay Award medallion and certificate are presented in a formal ceremony in Manila, Philippines, every November of the same year.

Nomination Process

Annually, the RMAF solicits award nominations from a wide-ranging pool of international confidential nominators. Nominations are carefully investigated and the Awardees are determined after rigorous evaluation by the RMAF board of trustees. RMAF does not accept nominations from the public.