Maria Faina L. Diola


Dr. Maria Faina L. Diola is a tenured full professor at the University of the Philippines-National College of Public Administration and Governance (UP-NCPAG). She graduated with the degree of Doctor of Public
Administration (DPA) at UP-NCPAG in April 2009, garnering the dean’s award for academic excellence, being the top of the graduating class. In 1988, she graduated from UP at Los Baños (UPLB), with a Master of Science degree in Development Communication (cognate in Social Forestry), which she earned while teaching agricultural extension and communication from 1983 to 1985. In 1982, she finished her Bachelor of Science degree in Development Communication (major in Development Journalism; minor in Horticulture) also at the UPLB. In recognition of her academic excellence in the undergraduate and graduate degrees, she was elected member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and the Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society of Agriculture in 2007 and 1992, respectively.

Dr. Diola has been engaged in the fields of development communication, development and public service work in general for 39 years. This includes 30 years of volunteer and professional work on civil society development, including some countries in Asia. In 2009, Dr. Diola expanded her professional studies and interest, and began her education, research and extension, in the field of Public Administration and Governance. Dr. Diola teaches Research Methods in Public Administration mostly for graduate students; Theory and Practice of Public Administration; the Philippine Administrative System; and Voluntary Sector Management. She is also an affiliate faculty at the Faculty of Management and Development Studies (FMDS) at the UP Open University since 2012. Dr. Diola was a visiting professor twice in Thailand: at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Management, Mahidol University last May 2014 and at the College of Politics and Governance (COPAG), Mahasarakham University, Thailand from May to July 2013.

In late 2020, Dr. Diola was elected for a three-year term to the Board of Directors of the International Society for Third Sector Research (ISTR), a global community of scholars, researchers and practitioners from the global non-profit and philanthropic community committed to rigorous interdisciplinary approaches in third sector research. ISTR’s headquarters is in Baltimore, MD, USA, but was originally based at the Johns Hopkins University. The ISTR directors for 2021-2024 come from 15 of 70 countries all over the world. Dr. Diola is one of the only three ISTR Board members
who come from Asia.

Dr. Diola served as Director of the Center for Leadership, Citizenship, and Democracy (CLCD), NCPAG , in 2010-2011 and in 2016-2019. While at the CLCD, Dr. Diola received in behalf of the CLCD, the Quezon City Local Volunteers Award (LOVA) during the month of Volunteerism in December 2017. Prior to joining the University of the Philippines full time, Dr. Diola was Deputy Executive Director of the Asian NGO Coalition for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ANGOC) in 2008-2009, engaging the ASEAN, ADB, FAO, and agricultural research and development organizations on food security and land reform issues.

Dr. Diola has also worked and was posted overseas in two countries — as visiting researcher at the Taiwan Fisheries Research Institute (TFRI), a government organization in Keelung, Taiwan from 1988 to 1990, and from 1994 to 1999, as writer-editor and Specialist in International Relations at the Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation (JANIC), a major networking non- government organization in Tokyo, Japan, where she volunteered for Filipino NGOs and other Japanese NGOs especially those working on development and environmental issues, during her free time.

Dr. Diola currently serves in three advisory government organizations. In 2021, she was invited membership in the National Volunteer Resource Pool (NVRP) of the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA), aside from being a regular advisor to this government agency; appointed as Technical Evaluator for Public Management, Administration and Governance (TE PMAG) at the Commission on Higher Education (CHED); and chosen by the Philippine National Police to serve as member of the Philippine National Police Internal Affairs Service (PNP IAS)
National Multilevel Advisory Council (NAMLAC).

Dr. Diola’s engagement with government agencies include national policy engagements on the following: as an internationally-hired consultant by the European Commission in 2012, she designed the framework for setting up a Volunteer and Citizenship Program for local government units under the auspices of the Department of Interior and Local Government-Local Government Academy (DILG-LGA), which is the basis for DILG MC 2013-27, on the Volunteer and Citizenship Program.

Similarly, Dr. Diola wrote and designed the framework for the National Agenda for Policy on Volunteerism (NAPV, 2022-2040) for the Philippine government through the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA). Dr. Diola was also engaged as technical evaluator of the PNVSCA’s local volunteer program, the Volunteer Information and Development Assistance (VIDA) program in 2013. Dr. Diola likewise conceptualized the Roadmap for
Volunteering for Development in the Philippines for the Philippine Coalition for Volunteerism (PhilCV), where PNVSCA was also consulted by the PhilCV team.

She also managed two strategic planning workshops for two local school boards – the Quezon City Local School Board and the Pasig Local School Board — in coming up with the QC LSB Development Plan 2017-2020 and the Pasig City Development Education Development Plan, 2017-2020, along with the CLCD-NCPAG team.

In 2018 and 2019, Dr. Diola was Project Director for training members of the local volunteers of the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF) of the Department of Agriculture on the policy process, where it was reported by PCAF that policy proposals by the volunteers had steadily increased in approvals after the series of trainings. On the whole, she was either consultant in evaluation studies or project manager for development projects related to governance, democracy promotion, the environment, rural development, development communication, civil society development, volunteerism, or women and development projects with various agencies such as the trifocal convergence of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Agriculture (DA), and Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) through the National Convergence Initiative (NCI), and the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) on their projects funded by the World Bank, the USAID, the UNDP, and the GIZ.

In 2015, Dr. Diola served as a regular lecturer/trainer for police facilitators at the Philippine National Police (PNP)’s Center for Police Strategy Management (CPSM), for their PATROL Program (a transformational program for the PNP). In most of 2016, she also served as part of the facilitating team and designed a training guide for training of trainers for the development of Peace and Order and Public Safety Plans (POPS) for local government focal points of the Peace and Order Councils (POCs), as contracted by the EP JUST II Project of the Bureau of Local Government Support (BLGS)
POPS Team of the DILG where she and her team facilitated the training for POPS formulation all over the country.

Her current local volunteer engagements include: being a member of the Board of Trustees of the Interfaith Center for Conciliation and Non-Violence (ICCN) and a Board Member of the Philippine Watershed Management Coalition (PWMC), where she volunteers in major activities on environment and natural resource management. . She co-chairs the lay Parish Pastoral Council of the Parish of the Holy Sacrifice in the UP Diliman campus and is co-head of the Social Services and Development Ministry, which manages the scholarship program, livelihood and feeding program for indigent members of the Parish community. She was inducted as member of the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) in 2018.


  • Doctor of Public Administration, University of the Philippines
  • M.S. Development Communication, University of the Philippines
  • B.S. Development Communication, University of the Philippines