H.E. Ma. Hellen B. De La Vega
Philippine Ambassador to Australia
Business Forum: Philippines
She is a career officer of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs and has served in various capacities under this role, such as Executive Director of the Office of Asia and Pacific (ASPAC) and the Philippine Representative to the ASEAN High Level Task Force that drafted the ASEAN Vision 2025.
Prior to her arrival in Australia, she served as the Assistant Secretary in the Office of ASEAN Affairs and the Director General of the ASEAN-Philippines National Secretariat from 2015-2018.
She previously served as Philippine Ambassador to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar from September 2009 to October 2012. She has also served in Philippine foreign services posts in Los Angeles, Beijing, Tokyo, Madrid and Jakarta.
She graduated in 1982 with Cum Laude honors at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila with a Bachelor’s Degree in Asian Studies. She was a recipient of a Fellowship Program on Investments Promotion from the Belgian Government, and took her Foreign Service Training Course under the auspices of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. She obtained her Master’s Degree on International Public Policy from the Paul Nitz School of Advanced International Studies of the John Hopkins University in Washington, D.C. as a Freeman Fellow.
The Philippine Government awarded Ambassador De La Vega in June 2018, the Order of Sikatuna with the Rank of Datu (Gold Cross) for her important role during the Philippine Chairmanship of ASEAN.