Ambassador Ma. Hellen B. De La Vega is a career officer of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs.
In the Home Office, she served in various capacities, including as the Executive Director of the Office of Asia and Pacific (ASPAC) from August 2007 to September 2008; Senior Special Assistant to the Undersecretary for Policy from March 2014 to November 2015. During this period, she also served as 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 December 2015 to 04 September 2018. Part of her responsibility during this term is to organize and shepherd the substantive preparations for the Philippine hosting and Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2017 and ASEAN’s 50th Anniversary commemorative activities.
In the Foreign Service, her overseas postings include the following:
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. Ambassador De La Vega is married.