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Joanne Ascencion Valdez

2023 Fellow

City Council Member, Candon City Local Government


Joanne Valdez is a dedicated community leader and educator who currently serves as a third-term council member for Candon City, Ilocos Sur, Philippines. She contributes to committees on Gender and Development, Women and Family, and Education. Joanne’s work has been recognized with awards and honors, including the Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines, the Young Leaders Award, Award for Excellence in Advocacy Work conferred by the National Movement of Young Legislators. She has also been selected for prestigious fellowships such as the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative, a program launched by the U.S. government to empower emerging leaders in Southeast Asia. In addition, she founded Candon Youth for Empowerment Movement, a community organization that inspires volunteers to create positive change in their communities. Her advocacy work includes promoting gender and development, particularly youth and women’s empowerment, respecting Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression, HIV and AIDS prevention, community libraries, and youth in farming, among others. Joanne is also committed to producing videos for various advocacy projects for Non-Government Organizations, showcasing her expertise in video production. Additionally, she has served as a faculty member at St. Paul University Quezon City College of Mass Communication, where she has had the opportunity to share her insights and inspire future media professionals. Joanne is also a devoted mother, wife, daughter, and friend who values her relationships with loved ones. Her expertise and insights have led her to speak at numerous conferences and events as a resource speaker, sharing her experiences and knowledge with others.