About the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation

The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation (RMAF) is an international
wholly independent non-profit organization based in Manila, Philippines.
RMAF manages the Ramon Magsaysay Award.

Honoring greatness of spirit in selfless service to the people of Asia

The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation was created in 1957, the year the Philippines lost in a plane crash a President who was well-loved for his simplicity and humility, his passion for justice, particularly for the poor, and his advancement of human dignity. Among the many friends and admirers of the late President around the world were the Rockefeller brothers. With the concurrence of the Philippine government, the trustees of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF) established the Ramon Magsaysay Award to honor President Magsaysay’s memory and perpetuate his example of integrity in public service and pragmatic idealism within a democratic society. ‍

Supported with a generous endowment from the RBF, the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation was organized in Manila in May 1957, with seven prominent Filipinos as founding members of the foundation’s board of trustees. The Foundation has since implemented the Ramon Magsaysay Award program, pursuing the objective of honoring greatness of spirit in selfless service to the people of Asia. The first Ramon Magsaysay Awards were given on August 31, 1958 to five outstanding individuals working in India, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan, and SriLanka, and a Philippine-based organization.

Our Vision

The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation (RMAF) recognizes and celebrates persons and organizations in Asia that exemplify transformative leadership and greatness of spirit. ‍

But beyond the Award, RMAF seeks to amplify and further enhance the Magsaysay laureates’ work and legacy so their ideas and solutions to Asia’s pressing problems extend beyond their borders; inspiring emergent leaders to do more of what is good and what is right, to make Asia a better place for all.

Our Mission

To inspire greatness of spirit for the future of Asia

We search for ordinary men, women and organizations that do extraordinary work in Asia.

We promote and support the work of the Ramon Magsaysay Laureates, connecting them to resources across Asia, including next generation leaders.  

We seek to inspire. We forge dialogue. We ignite action.

Board of Trustees
Committees

Aurelio R. Montinola III

Chairman

Gigi Montinola is the Chairman of the Board of Philippine-based Far Eastern University.  He is also a member of the board of World Wide Fund for Nature-Philippines and Philippine Business for Education, as Chairman and Vice-Chairman, respectively.

He has served as President of the Bank of the Philippine Islands from 2005 to 2013, and of the Bankers’ Association of the Philippines from 2008 to 2012.  He was twice awarded with the Asian Banker Leadership Achievement Award for the Philippines and was named the Management Association of the Philippines Management Man of the Year in 2012.

Prior to being the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, Mr. Montinola was its Treasurer in 2018 and 2019.

Aurelio R. Montinola III

Chairman

Dato Paduka Timothy Ong Teck Mong

Vice Chairman

Dato Timothy Ong is the Founder and Chairman of Asia Inc. Forum, a regional platform for policy and business dialogue.  He is the recipient of The Most Honourable Order of the Crown of Brunei given by His Majesty, the Sultan of Brunei, which confers the title “Dato Paduka.”

Aside from his work for the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, he sits on the board of various leading regional organizations including Baiduri Bank Group, and the Asian Advisory Board of Prudential Financial.  He is also a Governor of the Asian Institute of Management.

Dato Paduka Timothy Ong Teck Mong

Vice Chairman

Susan B. Afan

President

Susan Afan worked for three decades for a Fortune 500 global staffing firm in the United States, Robert Half International, and retired as a District President in Southern California. In 2005, she was recognized as its number one Regional Manager in the world.

She returned to the Philippines in 2014 and served as Managing Director and a member of the Board of Trustees of the ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation (ALKFI), the socio-civic arm of the Philippines most trusted media company, ABS-CBN Broadcasting Network. She is also a current board member of Bayan Academy  and WeSolve Foundation. 

Ms. Afan joined the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation as its President in January 2021.

Susan B. Afan

President

Jose L. Cuisia Jr.

Treasurer

Ambassador Cuisia took his official diplomatic post as Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines to the United States of America from 2011 to 2016.  He served as the Governor of the Philippine Central Bank and Chairman of its Monetary Board from 1990-1993.  He also served as Governor for the Philippines to the International Monetary Fund, and Alternate Governor to the World Bank.

Cuisia was President, CEO and Vice Chair of Philam Life, one of the leading insurance companies of the Philippines, for 16 years. He was also Chairman of the Board for BPI-Philam Life Assurance Co. and the Philam Foundation.

Currently, he is the Chairman of FWD Life Insurance Co. (Philippines), The Covenant Car Company and the University of Asia & the Pacific Foundation Inc. Amb. Cuisia was conferred the Order of Sikatuna with the rank of Datu by Pres. Benigno Aquino III in 2016 and received the Management Man of the Year Award from the Management Association of the Philippines in 2007. 

Prior to his position as its Treasurer, he served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation from 2018-2019.

Jose L. Cuisia Jr.

Treasurer

Emily A. Abrera

Trustee

Widely acknowledged as an authority and trailblazer in advertising and marketing management, Emily Abrera served as Chairman, President & CEO of McCann-Erickson Philippines. Upon retirement, she was named Chairman-Emeritus at McCann Worldgroup Philippines, and non-executive Chairman of McCann Worldgroup in the Asia-Pacific region. 

Her other interests are reflected in her involvement in diverse organizations, having served as Chairperson of the Cultural Center of the Philippines,  and as member of the EDSA People Power Commission. She is a trustee of the Bonifacio Art Foundation, the Philippine Board on Books for Young People, and the Philippine Eagle Foundation, among others.

Ms. Abrera served the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation as Chairman of the Board of Trustees in 2006 and 2010, Vice-Chairman in 2005, 2008-2009, and 2011, and was its Interim President in 2020.

Emily A. Abrera

Trustee

Randolf S. David

Trustee

Randolf David is a renowned Filipino journalist, sociologist, and public intellectual.  He is currently Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of the Philippines (UP), where he has taught since 1967.  He has authored several books including National Book Award winners “Reflections on Sociology and Philippine Society” (2001) and “Nation, Self, and Citizenship: An Invitation to Philippine Sociology” (2002).

He has given lectures across the globe on a broad range of subjects such as language and consciousness, culture and development, education and the mass media, among others.  Prof. David received the prestigious Fukuoka Prize in 2019 for his outstanding contributions to Asian culture.

He served as the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation in 2003 and 2004, respectively. 

Randolf S. David

Trustee

Ernesto D. Garilao

Trustee

Ernesto Garilao is the Chairman and President of the Zuellig Family Foundation, one of the largest healthcare services groups in Asia.  

Mr. Garilao has extensive experience in development work as Executive Director of Philippine Business for Social Progress (1978-1992).  He served as Secretary of the Philippine Department of Agrarian Reform under the administration of Pres. Fidel Ramos. From 1994-1998, he was Vice-Chairman of the Social Reform Council, the highest policy-making body for the Philippines’ anti-poverty programs.

In 2019, Mr. Garilao was awarded the Xiong An International Health Forum Impact Award, a recognition for an outstanding achievement by an established professional in improving global health.

Ernesto D. Garilao

Trustee

Cielito F. Habito

Trustee

Cielito Habito was the youngest member of the Cabinet of Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos as Secretary of Socio-Economic Planning and Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority.  He chaired the Philippine Council for Sustainable Development from 1992-1998, and was elected Chair of the Sixth Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development in New York in 1998.

He has worked at the World Bank, Harvard University, Center for Southeast Asian Studies in Kyoto University, and Asian Development Bank Institute in Tokyo.  He is a Professor of Economics at the Ateneo de Manila University, where he is also the Director of the Ateneo Center for Economic Research and Development. He is also Chairman of Brain Trust: Knowledge and Options for Sustainable Development Inc.

Prof. Habito’s column, “No Free Lunch,” appears weekly in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, one of the Philippine’s leading broadsheets.

Cielito F. Habito

Trustee

Cecilia L. Lazaro

Trustee

Cecilia Lazaro is a multi-awarded broadcast journalist who has been recognized both locally and internationally for her pioneering work in television.  She was co-founder and producer of Probe Productions, a Philippine media company that produced several revolutionary Filipino programs, including 5 and Up, Art Is Kool, Gameplan, Cheche Lazaro Presents, Probe Profiles, and The Probe Team, the first and longest-running investigative newsmagazine in the Philippines.

For her works, Ms. Lazaro received several awards and recognitions, including the KBP Golden Dove Awards, Catholic Mass Media Awards (Hall of Fame), Malolos Heritage Foundation, Philippine Movie Press Club, and Gawad CCP para sa Telebisyon.  In 2001, she received the Silver World Medal for Television Documentary and Information Program on Social Issues/Current Events at the New York Festival.

Cecilia L. Lazaro

Trustee

Ramon R. del Rosario Jr.

Trustee

Ramon R. del Rosario Jr. is the President and CEO of PHINMA Inc and PHINMA Corporation. He is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of PHINMA Education Holdings, Inc., which provide the underserved sectors access to quality education and of the nine educational institutions in the PHINMA education network. Mr. del Rosario is also the founding Chairman of Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) and is Vice-Chairman of Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) and Caritas Manila, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI).

He served as the Secretary of the Department of Finance of the Philippines from 1992 to 1993.  He was the Chairman of the Makati Business Club, the Integrity Initiative, and the National Museum of the Philippines.  He was Chairman of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation from 2016-2017.

Mr. del Rosario was selected as the Most Outstanding Student of the Philippines in 1967, one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) of the Philippines in 1978, the MAP Management Man of the Year in 2010 and received the “Business as a Noble Vocation Award” in 2018.

Ramon R. del Rosario Jr.

Trustee

Toshinao Urabe

Trustee

Ambassador Urabe is a well-known Japanese diplomat who has served as Ambassador to the Republic of the Philippines, Ambassador to the Republic of Ireland and Consul General in Atlanta.  He also served as the Deputy Director for Policy Coordination of the Prime Minister’s Cabinet in Japan and was involved in the coordination of the Ministry’s response to the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the first Gulf War.

After a brief Directorship at the Oceania Affairs Division in 1990, he was called in to serve as Private Secretary to the Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs in July 1991. He was subsequently posted in Canberra in 1993 and Bangkok in 1996, during which time he observed the evolution of the economic crisis of 1999.

In 2014, Ambassador Urabe was conferred the Order of Sikatuna, the national order of diplomatic merit of the Republic of the Philippines by President Benigno Aquino, Jr.

Toshinao Urabe

Trustee

Aurelio Luis R. Montinola III

Chairman

He is the Chairperson of Philippine-based Far Eastern University.  He is also a member of the board of World Wide Fund for Nature-Philippines and Philippine Business for Education, as its Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson respectively.

He has served as President of the Bank of the Philippine Islands from 2005 to 2013, and of the Bankers’ Association of the Philippines from 2008 to 2012.  He was twice awarded with the Asian Banker Leadership Achievement Award for the Philippines  and received the Management Association of the Philippines Management Man of the Year in 2012.

Prior to being the Chairperson of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, Mr. Montinola was its Treasurer in 2018 and 2019.

Aurelio Luis R.
Montinola III

Chairperson

Dato Paduka Timothy Ong Teck Mong

Vice - Chairperson

Dato Timothy Ong is the Founder and Chairman of Asia Inc. Forum, a regional platform for policy and business dialogue.  He is the recipient of The Most Honourable Order of the Crown of Brunei given by His Majesty, the Sultan of Brunei, which confers the title “Dato Paduka.”

Aside from his work for the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, he sits on the board of various leading regional organizations including Baiduri Bank Group, and the Asian Advisory Board of Prudential Financial.  He is also a Governor of the Asian Institute of Management.

Dato Paduka Timothy Ong Teck Mong

Vice - Chairperson

Susan B. Afan

President

Ms. Afan worked for three decades for a Fortune 500 global staffing firm in the United States.  She returned to the Philippines in 2014 and joined the ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation (ALKFI), an affiliate of the Philippines’ largest entertainment and media conglomerate.  She is currently a member of the board of ALKFI.
She was honored by the US-based Filipina Women’s Network as one of the most influential Filipino women in the United States in 2007.  In 2015, she was selected by the Filipina Women’s Network as one of the most influential Filipino women around the globe in 2015.  
Ms. Afan joined the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation as its President in January 2021.

Susan B. Afan

President

Jose L. Cuisia, Jr.

Treasurer

Amb. Cuisia took his official diplomatic post as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United States of America from 2011 to 2016.  He also served as the Governor of the Philippine Central Bank and Chairman of its Monetary Board from 1990-1993.  He also served as Governor for the Philippines to the International Monetary Fund, and Alternate Governor to the World Bank.

Amb. Cuisia was Vice Chairman of PhilamLife, one of the leading insurance companies of the Philippines, for 16 years.  He was also Chairman of the Board for BPI-Philam Life Assurance Co. and the Philam Foundation.

Prior to his position as its Treasurer, he served as Chairman of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation from 2018-2019.

Jose L. Cuisia, Jr.

Treasurer

Jose L. Cuisia, Jr.

Treasurer

Widely acknowledged as an authority and trailblazer in advertising and marketing management, Ms. Abrera served as Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer of McCann-Erickson Philippines, and is Chairman-Emeritus at McCann Worldgroup Philippines, She was the non-executive Chairman of the McCann Worldgroup in the Asia-Pacific region.

Her other interests are reflected in her involvement in diverse organizations: she served as Chairperson of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, as well as a trustee of Museo Pambata,  Philippine Board on Books for Young People, and Philippine Eagle Foundation, and a member of the EDSA People Power Commission, among others.

Ms. Abrera has served the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation as Chairperson in 2006 and 2010, Vice-Chairperson in 2005, 2008-2009, and 2011, and was its Interim President in 2020.

Emily A. Abrera

Trustee

Ernesto D. Garilao

Trustee

Ernesto D. Garilao is the Chairman and President of the Zuellig Family Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Zuellig Pharma, one of the largest healthcare services groups in Asia.

Mr. Garilao has extensive experience in development work as Executive Director of Philippine Business for Social Progress (1978-1992).  He served as Secretary of the Philippine Department of Agrarian Reform under the administration of Pres. Fidel Ramos.  From 1994-1998, he was Vice-Chairperson of the Social Reform Council, the highest policy-making body for the Philippines’ anti-poverty programs.

In 2019, Mr. Garilao was awarded the Xiong An International Health Forum Impact Award, a recognition for an outstanding achievement by an established professional in improving global health.

Ernesto D. Garilao

Trustee

Cielito F. Habito

Trustee

Cielito F. Habito was the youngest member of the Cabinet of Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos as, concurrently, Secretary of Socio-Economic Planning and Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority.  He chaired the Philippine Council for Sustainable Development from 1992-1998, and was elected Chair of the Sixth Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development in New York in 1998.

He had also worked at the World Bank, Harvard University, Center for Southeast Asian Studies in Kyoto University, and Asian Development Bank Institute in Tokyo.  He is a Professor of Economics at the Ateneo de Manila University, where he is also a Senior Fellow and former Director of the Ateneo Center for Economic Research and Development.

Prof. Habito’s column, “No Free Lunch,” appears weekly in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, one the Philippine’s leading broadsheets.

Cielito F. Habito

Trustee

Cecilia L. Lazaro

Trustee

Cielito F. Habito was the youngest member of the Cabinet of Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos as, concurrently, Secretary of Socio-Economic Planning and Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority.  He chaired the Philippine Council for Sustainable Development from 1992-1998, and was elected Chair of the Sixth Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development in New York in 1998.

He had also worked at the World Bank, Harvard University, Center for Southeast Asian Studies in Kyoto University, and Asian Development Bank Institute in Tokyo.  He is a Professor of Economics at the Ateneo de Manila University, where he is also a Senior Fellow and former Director of the Ateneo Center for Economic Research and Development.

Prof. Habito’s column, “No Free Lunch,” appears weekly in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, one the Philippine’s leading broadsheets.

Cecilia L. Lazaro

Trustee

Toshinao Urabe

Trustee

Amb. Urabe is a well-known Japanese diplomat who has served as Ambassador to the Republic of the Philippines, Ambassador to the Republic of Ireland and Consul General in Atlanta.  He also served as  the Deputy Director for Policy Coordination of the Prime Minister’s Cabinet and was involved in the coordination of the Ministry’s response to the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the first Gulf War.

After a brief Directorship at the Oceania Affairs Division in 1990, he was called in at short notice to serve as Private Secretary to the Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs in July 1991. He was subsequently posted in Canberra in 1993 and Bangkok in 1996, during which time he observed the evolution of the economic crisis of 1999.

In 2014, Amb. Urabe was conferred the Order of Sikatuna, the national order of diplomatic merit of the Republic of the Philippines. by Pres. Benigno Aquino, Jr.

Ramon R. del Rosario Jr.

Trustee

Ramon R. del Rosario Jr.

Trustee

Mr. del Rosario is the President and CEO of PHINMA, Inc. and PHINMA Corporation. He is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of PHINMA Education Holdings, Inc., PHINMA Araullo University, PHINMA Cagayan de Oro College, PHINMA University of Iloilo, PHINMA University of Pangasinan, Southwestern University PHINMA, PHINMA St. Jude College, Republican College, and Rizal College of Laguna.

He served as the Secretary of the Department of Finance of the Philippines from 1992 to 1993.  He was the Chairman of the Makati Business Club, the Integrity Initiative, and the National Museum of the Philippines.  He was Chairman of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation from 2016-2017.

Mr. del Rosario was selected as the Most Outstanding Student of the Philippines in 1967, one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) of the Philippines in 1978, the MAP Management Man of the Year in 2010 and received the “Business as a Noble Vocation Award” in 2018.

Toshinao Urabe

Trustee

A message from the Chairman & President of the foundation

MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN

The Magsaysay Award has been a consistent wellspring of hope in Asia. It stems from the compassionate work of the Magsaysay Laureates that continues to benefit millions since the Award was first presented in 1958.

Through the years, they have displayed the same servant leadership that made President Ramon Magsaysay beloved by the Filipino masses.

The Laureates squarely addressed the challenges that overwhelmed their communities, and provided much-needed relief to Asia’s most vulnerable. Their consistent, relentless drive to create sustainable solutions to wide-ranging problems provide a way out of difficult everyday realities. A beacon of hope for the hopeless.

Through it all, the Magsaysay Foundation has been proactively spreading the good news about the Awardees, and providing support for their advocacies. The Ramon Magsaysay Transformative Leadership Institute was created precisely for this reason. It is a unique enterprise that connects Magsaysay Awardees and their leadership contributions to other leaders across Asia—and to the next generation of emerging leaders—bringing together their shared passions and inclusive solutions in ways that can alleviate and improve adverse conditions in the region.

To reinforce the Award’s Asian pedigree, we are reaching out to cover all countries in the region and share the Laureates’ advocacies. We have also changed our communications identity from rmaf.org.ph to rmaward.asia. More than ever, we believe that the dynamism of Asia will surpass that of the other regions in the world.

The greatness of spirit of the Magsaysay Awardees will shine through, making all of us Proud to be Asian.

Aurelio R. Montinola III

Chairman
MESSAGE FROM THE president

Many of the women and men who have received the Ramon Magsaysay Award for the past 6 decades were ordinary people. At least they started as ordinary.

They were simple, average people that just had this relentless belief that human goodness and decency will in the end, prevail. They had this determined drive, to overcome tremendous odds and challenges in their desire to help people. No fanfare and with no expectations—just selflessly doing the work they thought was right, they thought was good and could benefit others.

That is greatness of spirit. That is what we honor them for.

It may seem unlikely, but our Magsaysay Laureates have shown us now that GREATNESS and RELEVANCE can be found in the most improbable places. It’s not just in universities and large institutions but rather it shines even in remote villages, among simple folk. It thrives not in the corridors of power, but in the hearts of everyone, willing to open themselves to possibilities.

Since 1958, The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation has celebrated the outstanding work of the Magsaysay Laureates. We continue to honor their legacy and draw inspiration from their life’s work.

Beyond the awarding, we seek to amplify the advocacies of the Awardees, and influence the next generation of leaders with the values President Ramon Magsaysay lived by.

Integrity. Generosity of spirit. Action toward solutions, never leaving anyone behind.

We strive to encourage replication and collaboration towards problem solving so that their work can benefit even more people for generations to come.

The Foundation is taking bolder steps to infuse more energy and opportunities for the Laureates to sustain and expand their work especially among Asia’s emerging young leaders. We believe that if mentored well, the youth are not just leaders of tomorrow but leaders in their communities today!

We are organizing multi-generational, synergistic programs with movers and thought leaders so they can inspire, interconnect, and ignite action creating more innovations—for a better Asia.

To the friends of the Ramon Magsaysay community who have been on this journey all these years, thank you. And for all of our new friends and supporters, welcome!

We invite you to engage with us in building a happier Asia that we can all enjoy together!

Susan B. Afan

President
KNOW MORE