The Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Edilberto C de Jesus as the new Director of the SEAMEO Secretariat. Dr de Jesus, who assumed office at the start of this year, was the SEAMEO Council president from 2003 to 2004, while he was also the Secretary of the Department of Education in the Philippines.

He was seconded by the Asian Institute of Management, where he was Professor and Chair of the Rural Development Management Program, to serve in the Peace Commission set up by President Corazon Aquino in 1987. In 1998, he received a concurrent appointment in the Aquino Cabinet as Presidential Adviser on Rural Development. He returned to AIM in 1992 as Associate Dean and led the team that put up what became the Washington Sycip Policy Center. From 1995 to 2002, he was president of the Far Eastern University in Manila.

The new Director earned his B.A., cum laude, in the Honors Program in the Humanities at the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines and the M. Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in History at Yale University.

Dr de Jesus was endorsed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for appointment by the Council as the chief administrative officer and legal representative of SEAMEO. The Council consists of the education ministers of the ten ASEAN countries, namely, Brunei Darussalam, Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand.

In practice, the Council appoints the Director of SEAMEO Secretariat from among the Member Countries on a fixed rotation basis. Supported by a professional staff recruited from member countries, and a general staff recruited from its host country, Thailand, the SEAMEO Secretariat is the executive arm of the Council. Its main function is to execute the instructions and decisions of the Council.