Dr. Virginia A. Miralao currently holds the post of Secretary-General of the UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines (UNACOM). She also concurrently serves as Governing Board Member of three UNESCO Centres, namely, the South East Asia Centre of Lifelong Learning for Sustainable Development (SEA CLLSD), Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU), and the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP).
Prior to her appointment, Dr. Miralao served as Executive Director of the Philippine Social Science Council (PSSC) for 14 years, from 1996 to 2009. During her term at PSSC, Dr. Miralao improved fiscal management, increased the Council’s endowment fund, upgraded PSSCenter facilities, and expanded Council programs and services. She also strengthened PSSC’s international linkages by serving as Secretary-General of the Association of Asian Social Science Research Councils, facilitating PSSC’s membership with the International Social Science Council and Science Council of Asia, sitting in the Board of the International Conference on Philippine Studies, and serving as Commissioner of UNACOM and Philippine Representative to and Rapporteur of the MOST Intergovernmental Council of the UNESCO Social and Human Sciences Sector.
A known institution-builder, Dr. Miralao helped shape several institutions and programs before joining PSSC in the 90s. She served as Chief of Operations of Ateneo de Manila University’s Institute of Philippine Culture and headed the Research Group of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation. She also served as ILO/UNDP Expert who directed Maldives’ first nationwide survey on women and spearheaded the development of a gender-disaggregated database for its national planning.
Dr. Miralao is a highly respected scholar who trained under pioneer social scientists, Dr. Gelia Castillo and Fr. Frank X. Lynch, SJ. Her works, which have appeared in prestigious international/foreign and local publications, have spanned the areas of gender, family and youth studies; curriculum changes and reform; contemporary migration/diaspora; and agrarian reform and rural development.
Dr. Miralao has garnered awards in recognition of her scholarship and contributions to the Philippine social sciences. These include the UP Alumni Association’s Outstanding Professional Award in Social Sciences (2007) and Sigma Delta Phi Sorority’s Mariang Maya Award for Excellence in the Social Sciences and Social Research (2008). At her retirement from PSSC in December 2009, a Virginia A. Miralao Excellence in Research Award was set up in her honor.