Gracia Divina Valera-Jaramillo
Executive Director & Co-Founder, Migrant Heritage Commission (MHC)
“Bringing people together to foster a culture of unity and service” is what best describes the passion of Grace Valera who comes from a new breed of young leaders in the Fil-Am community. As a leader, she engages in various humanitarian and charitable activities, organizes events in honor and serve people in need, mobilizes Fil-Am community support and participation for humanitarian undertakings and high profile events; is an active promoter of the performing & visual arts in the U.S. capital and neighboring states; initiates and implements cultural and tourism promotion activities aimed at promoting Asian, Filipino and immigrants’ goodwill in the U.S. and in bringing the beauty and vibrancy of the Filipino and other Asian cultures to the American mainstream and to other ethnic groups. Her passions: helping people and promoting Filipino culture. She lives by her guiding principle of “LIVE A LIFE THAT MATTERS’ making her a recipient of plaques and certificates of recognition/appreciation from various government and private organizations for public and community/civic service.
As a diplomat, GRACE VALERA had served in Philippine foreign service posts (Embassies) in Tokyo, Madrid & Washington D.C. She had served & represented the Philippines in various ASEAN, APEC, ASEM and other international and world summit conferences. She had always been a part of the National Organizing Committee (NOC) for high level international/world conferences or state visits being hosted by the Philippine government.
She graduated Cum Laude (with honors) with an AB Degree in Asian Studies at the Pontifical University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines under the Australian Aid/Scholarship Government Program. She finished her Master of Arts Degree in Foreign Affairs and Trade in Australia with High Distinction (HD) in thesis.
She was the former Editor-in-Chief of the newsletter of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs Ladies Foundation (DFALF). Grace is currently an Associate Editor of the Migrant Heritage Chronicle, a monthly publication of the Migrant Heritage Commission.
Her other past positions included, serving as Executive Board Member and PRO in ASEAN Women’s (AWC) Diplomatic Circle, Washington D.C. 2003-2005; ), DFA Ladies Foundation Madrid Chapter and Executive Board Member of Asian Diplomatic Ladies’ Circle in Madrid, 2000-2003 and as PRO, Philippine Ladies Association in Japan (PLAJ), 1990-1995.
At present, she is the Co-Executive Director of the Migrant Heritage Commission; the co-organizer of Asia Heritage Foundation’s Fiesta Asia; an Ambassador for Peace in the U.S.; the Artistic Director of the Fil-Am Heritage Dance Ensemble; Annual Asian Festival in Reston, Virginia; the US. Capital’s 4th of July American Independence Day Parade; Dance DC Festival and other high profile events in the Metro DC area.
Her other affiliations/involvement include the Global Peace Festival (GPF), Diplomatic Society of St. Gabriel (DSSG), Asian American Business Conference (AABC) and the Prince George’s County Ambassador’s Day.