Harvard Kennedy School Alumni Association of PH celebrates members in public service

Harvard Kennedy School Alumni Association of PH celebrates members in public service

/ 08:21 PM November 23, 2023
Dr. Brian Poe-Llamanzares Chief of Staff of Senator Poe accepts medal for public service
Dr. Brian Poe-Llamanzares Chief of Staff of Senator Poe accepts medal for public service

MANILA, Philippines — The Harvard Kennedy School Alumni Association of the Philippines celebrated its annual Bureaucrats’ Ball with a gathering of distinguished public servants from both the private and public sector.

HKS Alumni Association of the Philippines (HKSAAP) President Atty. Gianna Montinola said, “The festive Bureaucrats’ Ball  is an annual tradition carried on from our Harvard Kennedy School student days. It is not only an  opportunity for the alumni in the Philippines to catch up but also to share and celebrate the achievements of those who serve in government and in the public sector.”

HKS Alumni Association of the Philippines (HKSAAP) President, Atty. Gianna Montinola
The Harvard Kennedy School Alumni Association of the Philippines

The highlight of the HKS Bureaucrats’ Ball was the recognition of HKS alumni who are currently serving in government and creating an impact on nation building through public service. This year, the following government officials were recognized:


1. Dr. Alex Brillantes, Professor Emeritus, UP Diliman National College of Public Administration and Governance (UP NCPAG)


2. Cesar Chavez, Undersecretary for Rails, Department of Transportation

3. Jean Susan V. Desuasido Gill, Presiding Judge and Vice-Executive Judge, Regional Trial Court, Branch 131, Trece Martires City, Cavite

4. Vicente Homer Revil, Administrator, Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA)

5. Annalyn Sevilla Santiago, Undersecretary, Department of Education 

6. Brian Poe Llamanzares , Chief of Staff, Office of Senator Grace Poe

7. Reynaldo Tagudando, Director, Department of Public Works and Highways


8. Hendrik Garcia , Deputy Asst Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs 

9. Maria Luthgarda M Lacaba, Vice President, Corporate Services, PNOC Exploration Corporation, Department of Energy 

10. Mary Rose Magsaysay, Deputy Executive Director and Assistant Secretary, DICT – Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC)

HKSAAP celebrated alumni who embodied the spirit of the school motto “Ask what you can do.”

HKSAAP public service medals

By next year, the HKSAAP also plans to expand its recognition by implementing the Public Service Awards to recognize outstanding servant leaders from all sectors including government, civil society and private sector including those outside of the association. It’s their hope that this would continue to expand the role and influence of HKSAAP in supporting the development and public reform agenda of the government.

Ambassador Chantale Wong, United States Director of the Asian Development Bank

Guests were also able to listen to the wisdom of ambassador Chantale Wong, United States Director of the Asian Development Bank. 

READ: Harvard alumni in PH unite for a cause

In her keynote address shared her history in public service and nation building. She highlighted many positive developments in the philippines ranging from financing the climate change action program in 2021 to the more active role the philippines plays in APEC in this new administration.

She ended her keynote address with optimism and hopefulness saying, “the Philippines has come a long way, but there is still much work to be done. With the continued efforts of the government and the support of its partners, I am confident that the country will overcome its challenges and achieve its development goals. I am personally honored and pleased to be part of the journey and look forward to continuing partnership.”

Summarizing the whole experience HKSAAP public service awardee Department of Transportation Undersecretary Cesar Chavez  said, “The Bureaucrats’ Ball showcased the powerful synergy between Harvard Kennedy School alumni working in various government agencies and development partners, fostering valuable connections in the Philippines”

Fellow public service honoree, Senator Grace Poe’s Chief of Staff Brian Poe-Llamanzares added, 

“It goes without saying that the Bureaucrat’s Ball was an amazing success due to the hard work and effort of the dynamic HKSAAP board.”

He then went on to thank HKSAAP and invited other alums to become active in the organization,

“I’d also like to say I’m very grateful for being recognized by my fellow HKS alumni. This recognition is a reflection of the amazing things we’ve been able to achieve at the office of Senator Grace Poe. I look forward to continuing to grow with the organization. As an executive program graduate I feel very welcome in the organization and encourage more executive education grads to join the organization and contribute to the nation building vision of the association”

True to what Poe-Llamanzares mentioned, the HKSAAP board also highlighted future plans of offering board seats to fellows and executive program graduates.  Moreover, they expect to have more forums in line with the interests of their membership.

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The next event for HKSAAP members being the upcoming welcome reception for the Kennedy School Dean Doug Elmendorf on December 3 at the Brittany Hotel. They invite all alum to join them in this intimate get together with the current head of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

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