Nieves Confesor

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Maria Nieves Roldan-Confesor, more popularly known as Nieves Confesor, is a former dean of the Institute of the Asian Institute of Management (AIM). She was the first Filipino woman to assume the post since the school was founded in 1968.


Confesor graduated as class valedictorian from Maryknoll College (now Miriam College) with a Bachelor of Arts in Literary Studies degree, magna cum laude, in 1971. She later obtained a Master of Business Administration degree from the Ateneo Graduate School of Business in 1978.

In 1990 she earned a Master of Public Policy and Administration degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University as an Edward S. Mason fellow. She also took special courses in Labor and Employment and in Asian Studies at the University of the Philippines; and in International Economics, Negotiations, Women in Politics at Harvard University.


Confesor was a professor of Business Administration and International Studies at Miriam College and professor of Public Policy and Administration at the Development Academy of the Philippines.

She served as the dean of the AIM from 2003-2005; under her term, the AIM was included in the European (EQUIS) and American (AACSB) accredited business schools and universities. She is still a core faculty member of the AIM's Center for Development Management (CDM), serving as associate dean for the Masters in Development (MDM) program from September 2008-August 2009.

She also teaches in the Master in Management (MM) program of the Washington SyCip Graduate School of Business (WSGSB), plus the Executive Master in Business Administration (EMBA) and other short courses of the Executive Education and Lifelong Learning Center (EXCELL). She was also a former director of the AIM Policy Center's Human Resource Productivity Desk.

She is also currently on the board of trustees of Miriam College.

Government service

Confesor served as the secretary for Labor and Employment starting from the term of former President Corazon Aquino until her resignation in 1995. In this capacity, she concurrently served as chairperson of tripartite government agencies such as the National Wages and Productivity Commission, the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority; and also as board director or a board member of the Philippine Agrarian Reform Commission, the Social Security System and the Land Bank of the Philippines.

She later served as presidential adviser on Human Resource Development and International Labor Affairs to former President Fidel V. Ramos, especially as consultant for labor and employment to the then newly-formed Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Confesor also chaired the panel of seven experts of the Joint Congressional Commission to amend the 1974 Labor Code.

She was later appointed as head of the Philippine Government Panel in the peace talks between the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front-New People’s Army (CPP-NDF-NPA) in 2005.

Confesor has also served on the boards of several government-owned companies such as the Philippine National Bank, the Philippine National Oil Company and the Philippine National Coal Corporation.

International involvement

Apart from being the first Filipino woman dean of the AIM, Confesor was also the first Asian woman to serve as chair of the International Labor Organization (ILO) Governing Body from 1994 to 1995. She was later vice-chair of the ILO Assessment Team sent to investigate Myanmar's violations of the Convention on the Abolition of Forced Labor in 2001. She has also been granted fellowships by the ILO for Research Policy and Program Planning; Working Conditions and Enforcement of Labor Standards; and for Work Organization, Job Satisfaction and Industrial Democracy.

She is also an active participant in the UN network of Conflict: Early Warning and Preventive Measures (EWPM) project activities, and a member of the Operating Council of the Global Alliance for Workers based in Washington D.C., USA.


In 1992, Confesor was named one of the Ten Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service (TOWNS) and received the Outstanding Service Award by the Philippine Civil Service Commission.


Confesor was hugely criticized as Labor Secretary in 1995 because of the Flor Contemplacion case. Contemplacion was sentenced to hang for the death of Delia Magat, another Filipino overseas worker in Singapore. Amid allegations that the DOLE was unable to handle the case, Confesor resigned from her cabinet post.

Battle with cancer

In 2006 Confesor was diagnosed with Stage 1 leiomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer. The cancer was thought to have gone into remission after chemotherapy and surgery, but was detected in the lungs a year later. She then decided to go under stem cell therapy and has since recovered.

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