Dr. Ma. Cynthia Rose B. Bautista presently sits as Commissioner of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). She is on secondment from the University of the Philippines (UP) where she serves as professor at the Department of Sociology.
Dr. Bautista is an eminent sociologist whose research outputs have been published both locally and internationally. Her most notable works are in the areas of poverty and agrarian issues, middle class politics, peace and conflict, gender concerns, educational reform, and the social ramifications and aspects of natural disasters. She has also written reflective essays on social and political developments in the Philippines such as the people power uprisings and democratic consolidation, and on developments in the Philippine social sciences.
Her exceptional work as a scholar and academic has earned her a number of awards and citations, including the Outstanding Young Scientist Award from the National Academy of Science and Technology (1988); Outstanding Publications Award also from the National Academy of Science and Technology for the book In the Shadow of the Lingering Pinatubo Disaster (1994); Ten Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service (TOWNS) Award (1995); Achievement Award of the National Research Council of the Philippines (2002); Professional Achievement Award of the UP Alumni Association (1998); and the Achievement Award for the Social Sciences of the College of Arts and Sciences Foundation (1997) .
In addition to teaching, Dr. Bautista also held various administrative posts in UP, including Dean of College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, Director of the Center for Integrative and Development Studies, Deputy Director of the Third World Studies Center, and Chair of the Department of Sociology.
Dr. Bautista is also known for her contributions outside of the academe. She served as Chair of the Executive Board and as Vice Chair of the Governing Council of the Philippine Social Science Council; Chair of the Advisory Board of the Ford Foundation International Fellowship Program-Philippines; Chair of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation; and President of the Philippine Human Development Network.