Leticia Ramos Shahani

Founding Chairperson / BUDHI Foundation
Nationality:  Philippines
Profession:  Activist, Policy-maker
Languages Spoken:  English, Filipino, French
Area(s) of Expertise:  Women's Human Rights
Country/Region of Expertise:  East Asia & Pacific, Philippines
Dr. Leticia Ramos Shahani, President Pro-Tempore of the Philippine Senate from 1992-1996, has held numerous positions in the Philippine government and the United Nations Secretariat. She was formerly Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs and served as a member of the Philippine Senate from 1987-1998. She was Secretary General of the Third World Conference on Women in Nairobi, Kenya in 1980 and from 1981-1986 was UN Assistant Secretary-General for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs. Ms. Shahani is the founding chairperson of the BUDHI Foundation and serves as chairperson of the Foundation of Youth Development of the Philippines.

Ms. Shahani has taught at a number of institutions in the Philippines and internationally, including the New School for Social Research in New York and the University of the Philippines. Her articles and other publications on issues such as culture, foreign policy, and social development and women include Moral Imperatives of National Renewal (Readings on the Moral Recovery Program), Towards the Pacific Century, Philippines Foreign Policy of Our Future, and The Philippines: The Land and the People. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the French Legion of Honor, the United Nations Population Award, the Rafael Salas Population and Development Award, and the Mother of the Year Award from the National Federation of Women’s Clubs in the Philippines.

Ms. Shahani received a B.A. in English Literature from Wellesley College and an M.A. in Comparative Literature from Columbia University. She was awarded a Doctoral degree in Comparative Literature with highest honors from the University of Paris in 1962. She is the widow of the late Ranjee Shahani, a distinguished Indian writer and professor, and has three children.

S:SSO to Sakai