About UGDO

Pursuant to Section 24 of the Code of Decorum and Administrative Rules on Sexual Harassment, Other Forms of Sexual Misconduct, and Inappropriate Behavior (“Code and Rules”), the UGDO shall have oversight of, monitor, and evaluate the University’s Decorum and Investigation System in general, and the implementation of the Code and Rules in particular. 

Among the office’s other responsibilities are the coordinated development and implementation of Gender and Development (GAD) policies andprograms for the University, including mandatory on-boarding and continuing training programs in GAD for all University personnel. The office will absorb the workings of the erstwhile CHED-mandated GAD Focal Point System and manage and report the University’s compliance with CHED’s GAD-related directives and guidelines.

The UGDO Director serves as ex-officio Chair of the University Gender and Development (GAD) Focal Committee, a body mandated by CHED CMO 1, s. 2015.

The current Director is Dr Maria Elissa J Lao. Melissa has chaired the said university committee since its creation on 16 March 2018.


Maria Elissa Jayme Lao is Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science, Ateneo de Manila University and currently the Director of the University Gender and Development Office. She received her Doctorate in Public Administration from the National College of Public Administration and Governance, University of the Philippines, Diliman in 2011. Her current research includes work on Philippine foreign policy, migration and Philippine elections, democratization in the Philippines and DRR, resilience and social change.

She is also a member of the Commission on the Role and Responsibilities of Women in the Society of Jesus.



University Gender and Development Office

Ateneo de Manila University Loyola Heights campus
Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights
1108 Quezon City

Telephone +63 2 8426 6001