UP welcomes new VP for Public Affairs

Dr. Edna Estifania Co is the new Vice President for Public Affairs.

Notice of the approval of her ad interim appointment was released by the Office of the Secretary and of the Board of Regents on September 19. Her appointment was “effective September 1 to serve at the pleasure of the President.” The post was vacated by Dr. J. Prospero de Vera III, who was appointed commissioner of the Commission on Higher Education and peace process adviser.

Co is a full professor at the UP Diliman National College of Public Administration and Governance (NCPAG), where she teaches courses on administrative theory, the Philippine administrative system, administration of social development, and campaign finance. Her studies have been widely-published and recognized, and her expertise has been tapped by national and international organizations.

She concurrently serves as the executive director of the Center for Integrative and Development Studies, the UP System-wide interdisciplinary policy research center. Co is also the director of the newly-established Centre International de Formation des Autorités et Leaders (CIFAL) Philippines, one of 16 centers in the CIFAL Global Network of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). CIFAL Philippines is the Asia-Pacific hub of the worldwide network and is the result of UP’s partnership with UNITAR.

She is part of the Advisory Council to the Civil Service Commission; a council member of the country’s oldest election watchdog, National Movement for Free Elections; and a member of the board of trustees of the national award-giving body on best practices in local governance, Galing Pook Foundation.

In 2004, Co initiated the Philippine democracy assessment methodology and has since been in partnership with the inter-governmental organization, Sweden-based International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance on various democracy assessment efforts and in knowledge resource development in the Asia-Pacific.

As NCPAG dean from 2010 to 2013, she pursued official partnerships between the college and Asian universities such as Meiji University and the Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Japan, Mahasarakham University and Mahidol University in Thailand, and Yonsei University of Korea, among others.

Co received the highest recognition given to outstanding citizens of Quezon Province, the Quezon Medalya ng Karangalan in 2011.