Ethel Agnes Pascua-Valenzuela

Director, Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) Secretariat

Dr Ethel Agnes Pascua-Valenzuela is presently the Director of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Secretariat (SEAMEO Secretariat). Dr Valenzuela took office on 1 April 2019 as the 18th Director of SEAMEO, marking 2 firsts, the first Female SEAMEO Secretariat Director and the first Filipina to lead a regional organization in education, culture and science.

At SEAMEO Secretariat where she served from July 2015 to 15 February 2019 as the first woman Deputy Director for Programme and Development, she worked and advocated for region-wide SEAMEO programmes with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for SEAMEO College, with UNICEF-EAPRO for the first region-wide grade 5 assessment called Southeast Asia’s Primary Learning Metrics (SEA PLM), and with UNESCO for inclusive and quality education, teacher professional development, open educational resources, massive open and online courses, education for sustainable development and global citizenship.

Dr Valenzuela served SEAMEO INNOETCH as Head/Senior Specialist of SEAMEO INNOTECH from 2006 to 2015, at the Philippine government as Education Commissioner of UNESCO National Commission from 2000 to 2010, Director IV at the Commission on Higher Education from 2000 to 2006, Chief Education Programme Specialist at CHED International Affairs Services from 1995 to 2000, and a graduate school Professorial lecturer at the University of the Philippines College of Education Diliman campus.

Dr Valenzuela’s expertise is on educational policy research in the areas of internationalization of education, transnational and distance education as well as teacher education. She has published international and local articles, journals, technical reports and guidelines for some SEAMEO and other international organizations such as UNESCO, UNICEF, CHED and DepED. Among her well-noted work were: The K to 12 Regional Comparison in Asia, K to 12 Toolkit, Philippine Higher Education Guide (CHED), Quality Assurance, Mutual Recognition in Higher Education (UNESCO Paris), Toolkit for the Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications (UNESCO BKK), Toolkit for National Information Centers (UNESCO Bangkok), Education for Sustainable Development Toolkit, Internationalization of Philippine Higher Education (UNESCO Natcom) to name a few. She also published Philippine Education in the International Encyclopedia of Education under Elsevier London.

Dr Valenzuela holds a Doctor of Education in Educational Management, Masters of Arts in Science Education and Bachelors Degree in Secondary Education. She holds Career Executive Service Officer IV rank (CESO IV) in the Philippine Government. She was awarded as Doctor Fellows at the Royal Institution Singapore, an Eminent Alumni and