Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones Professor Emeritus of the National College of Public Administration and Governance, University of the Philippines, has spent most of her life as a teacher. She has taught young children in church schools, college students in universities, masteral and doctoral students. Whenever and wherever she delivers a public lecture, she teaches. She has been a resource person in numerous national, regional, and international meetings and fora. She addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations in 2005. She combines the role of distinguished academic public official, and social activist.
Secretary Briones has been involved in the administration of academic institutions. She served as Vice-President for Administration and Finance of the University of the Philippines System. Before her appointment as Education Secretary, she was Chair of the Silliman University Board of Trustees, and Regent of the Universidad de Manila. She has a wealth of experience in administering public institutions. She was Secretary to the Commission on Audit, and served as National of the Philippines. Furthermore, Secretary Briones is an articulate advocate on economic and social development issues.
She was former President of Freedom from Debt Coalition. She then became Lead Convenor of Social Watch Philippines, Coordinator of Social Watch Asia and Social Watch International. Social Watch reports to the United Nations on social development issues.
Her academic and professional competencies range from business administration, accounting, public finance (revenues, expenditures, borrowing and accountability), public policy and administration (including local government administration, government corporations, and graft and corruption). She obtained her Bachelor in Business Administration, major in Accounting, magna cum laude from Silliman University; Master’s in Public Administration, major in Local Government and Fiscal Administration, Dean’s List from the University of the Philippines; Post Graduate Diploma in Development Administration, major in Public Enterprises, With Distinction from Leeds University England; Certificate in Policy in Public Enterprise from Harvard Institute for International Development, Harvard University; and, Certificate in Innovations in Governance from the John F. Kennedy School of Government in Harvard University, Massachusetts She was also conferred Doctor of Public Administration honoris causa by the Central Philippine University in 2014. Secretary Briones has received numerous awards in recognition of her sterling performance as a public official such as the Presidential Lingkod ng Bayan Award in 2000 by the Civil Service Commission on its centennial year, the Outstanding Professional Award in Public Administration conferred on her by the University of the Philippines Alumni Association, and the Alumni Achievement Award for Government Service given to her by the National College of Public Administration and Governance on its 50th year. She has also been awarded as one of the Outstanding Sillimanian for Public Administration, Outstanding Negrense Award for Government Service, The Bayi Citation Award for Exemplary Women in Politics and Governance in 2011, distinguished Alumni of the UP Alumni Association in 2013 and Outstanding Citizen of Quezon City in 2015.Even more important than her long record of research, teaching and government service is her total commitment to good governance, particularly in public finance.
Secretary Briones is a member of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines and President of the Manila Concert Choir.