In October 2016 FAWA (Federation of Asian Women’s Association_ President Sara Mei Woo of Singapore turned over the gavel of responsibility and the FAWA flag to NFWC (National Federation of Women’s Club) Foundation President Mary Jane C. Ortega who was elected as President of FAWA for 2016-2018.
While her term as FAWA president will expire soon, Mary Jane Ortega is not one to retire from public service. The wife of 6-term Congressman Victor F. Ortega of the First District of La Union, Mary Jane (or MJ as she is commonly addressed) was Mayor of the City of San Fernando from 1998-2007. It was under her stewardship that San Fernando City – becoming a chartered city in the year she officially became its mayor – was sustainable and healthy progress by leaps and bounds. Her good governance was rewarded later when she became the first Filipina and Asian to receive the UN Scroll of Honour Award for her advocacy for empowerment of women and her commitment to the city development strategy, among other prestigious honors from various socio-civic. She is also a member of the UN Advisory Council of Local Authorities (UNACLA), the UN Steering Committee of Safer Cities and the UN Reference Committee on Placemaking.
A former Secretary General, she is currently Special Adviser of CITYNET, the largest association of urban stakeholder committed to sustainable development in the Asia Pacific Region. Established in 1987 with the support of UNESCAP, UNDP and UN-Habitat, the network of cities has grown to include 135 municipalities, NGOs, private companies and research centers.