Our Board of Trustees

Laura T. David, PhD.


Dr. Laura T. David is a physical oceanographer and professor at the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute (UP MSI) who studies ocean physics and its effects to productivity and diversity. She is currently the UP MSI Director. Her research interests are in coastal oceanography, remote sensing of coastal and marine environment, ocean energy, coastal ecosystems and climate change, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction management, science communication on biodiversity, interconnectivity and climate resilience.

She is an awardee of the Outstanding Young Scientists (OYS) and The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service (TOWNS), Gawad Chanselor Natatanging Guro from UP Diliman, a former L’Oreal National Fellow, and a continuing Senior Fellow at the OML Center for Climate Change Adaptation. Laura has led the Board of Trustees of TAO-Pilipinas as chairperson from 2004 until early 2019. In the recent Board of Trustees election, she was once again elected as the chairperson.

Maria Antonia N. Tanchuling, PhD.

Vice Chairperson

Dr. Maria Antonia N. Tanchuling is a Professor of the University of the Philippines College of Engineering and is the former Director of the Institute of Civil Engineering. She has been recently appointed the Dean of the College of Engineering in 2022. She is the former Coordinator of the Environmental Engineering Graduate Program from 2010 to 2016 and the former Associate Dean for Student and Industry Linkage.

Tonette joined the TAO-Pilipinas Board of Trustees in 2009. She is also a founding partner of AMH Philippines, an engineering consultancy firm.

Maria Faith Y. Varona


A licensed architect and environmental planner, Maria Faith Varona is currently a member of the faculty of the University of the Philippines College of Architecture under the urban design, housing and architectural communication laboratories. Faith helped found TAO-Pilipinas in 2001 and was its Research and Publications program director for more than a decade until she became a member of its Board of Trustees in 2014. Prior to establishing TAO-Pilipinas, she also worked for local and international organizations such as Alterplan, NGO-Coalition for Cooperatives Development, Oxfam-America, and Building Alliance for Action and Initiatives.

Maria Victoria S. Ilagan


Avic Ilagan is an independent filmmaker and a senior resident actor-teacher of the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA). Prior to pursuing a career as a filmmaker, Avic spent eighteen years as a theater artist of PETA doing production design, marketing and promotion, cultural research, facilitating workshops and eventually doing lead and support roles. She created educational television programming designed to appeal to mass audiences and has directed a number of drama teleplays aired nationally on Philippine television. She joined the TAO-Pilipinas Board of Trustees in 2004.

She is also affiliated with Blacksoup, a film collective working on documentaries, audio-visual productions and multi-media projects.

Ana Marie O. Dizon


Ana Marie Dizon is a sociologist with over 20 years of local and international experience in social development, internal/external monitoring and survey research, advocacy and networking, adolescent and youth work, gender and development, displacement, community-based post-conflict rehabilitation, project development and implementation, and monitoring and evaluation in emergency settings.

She has been engaged as an independent consultant for a number of INGOs as learning consultant and evaluator (Christian Aid/Start Network, Tearfund, CARITAS Internationalis). Ana is a founding member of TAO-Pilipinas.

Eleanor C. Ramos


Ellen Ramos is an architect-turned-independent filmmaker. She studied animation at the Mowelfund Film Institute and experimental filmmaking under Christoph Janetzko. She was a UNESCO-Aschberg scholar at the Cologne Academy of Media Arts in Germany and was an animation lecturer at the Mowelfund Film Institute from 1993-2005, and later became Head of the Education Program. She has worked on various short film productions as director, animator, production designer, sound recordist, and editor. She received the 1992 Philippine Board of Books for Young People (PBBY) Illustrators Grand Prize and First Prize awards from the CCP Awards for Alternative Film & Video and Animahenasyon Film Festival.

Prior to becoming a filmmaker, Ellen was a full-time architect and a computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) specialist. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of the Philippines Diliman. She joined the TAO-Pilipinas Board of Trustees in 2004.

profile photo of Aleta Nunez

Ma. Aleta C. Nuñez


Atty. Alett Nuñez is an environmental lawyer with more than two decades of experience in environmental and natural resource policy and governance and program management. She has served as an advisor and specialist to numerous international and local agencies including the US Agency for International Development, World Wildlife Fund, Department of Public Works and Highways, and Provincial Government of Negros Occidental. She provides policy and legal support in programs related to fisheries management, water quality management, and in ensuring transparency and accountability in the mining, oil and gas industries. Her work experience also covers training, capacity-building and teaching, and the practice of law before courts and administrative agencies.

Alett received her degree in political science and Bachelor of Laws at the University of the Philippines Diliman. She completed her Master of Laws at the Columbia University in New York City with a Parker School Certificate of Achievement in International Law. She joined the TAO-Pilipinas Board of Trustees in 2021.