Secretary IMELDA M. NICOLAS
Secretary Imelda M. Nicolas is the newly appointed Chairperson of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) under the Office of the President of the Philippines. Since 1980, the CFO has been mandated to maintain strong and beneficial ties between the country and Filipino communities throughout the world and to promote and protect the welfare, the interests and well-being of Filipinos overseas.
By now, there are approximately 9 million overseas Filipinos spread out in 210 countries, almost half of them permanent residents while the other half are composed of overseas Filipino workers with the balance composed of Filipinos who are “irregular” in status.
As CFO new chairperson, Secretary Nicolas takes a more pro-active role for and with all overseas Filipinos, whether working or living in other countries, to maximize the development potential of international migration while at the same time to minimize migration's significant social costs.
Secretary Nicolas is guided by the new CFO Vision: A community of well-respected and proudly competitive Filipinos overseas who contribute significantly to the productivity and well-being of the countries of where they live or work while maintaining strong political, economic, and cultural ties with the Philippines, and driven by the new CFO Mission: Be the Philippines' premier institution in promoting policies, programs, and projects with Migration and Development as a framework for the strengthening and empowerment of the Filipino overseas community.
Prior to her appointment to the CFO, she was former Secretary of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), former Chairperson of the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW), and Presidential Assistant helping cabinet secretaries in monitoring implementation of major government-funded infrastructures.
She was also a Founding Trustee of BISYON 2020, a non-government organization/private sector group of people which aims to be a funding conduit for anti-corruption programs and projects. Bisyon2020 organized the 1st and 2nd Integrity and Human Rights Conference in the Philippines, 2009 and 2010.
She was founding Trustee/Treasurer of INCITE GOV, International Center for Innovation, Transformation and Excellence in Governance, a non-government organization geared towards reform in governance, with special and holistic perspective on the critical and crucial connection among politics, governance and democracy.
She is a businesswoman who has done business in the Philippines, in the United States, Australia, Hongkong, Guam and China. She was Vice-president for Development of TLC Beatrice International Holdings Inc, a New York-based multinational company. She is the current chair of the Women’s Business Council of the Philippines.
She graduated with highest honors at St. Theresa’s College, Manila and took M.A. Units in Arts History at Columbia University.
She has been a lifetime advocate for women’s rights and good governance. She was the head of the Philippine delegation during the 10th anniversary of the Beijing UN Conference on Women held in 1995.