The Ramon Magsaysay Award
The Ramon Magsaysay Award, Asia’s premier prize and highest honor, celebrates greatness of spirit and transformative leadership in Asia. In the past five decades, the award has been bestowed on over three hundred outstanding men, women and organizations whose selfless service has offered their societies, Asia, and the world successful solutions to some of the most intractable problems of human development.
The trustees of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation annually select the awardees. Awardees are presented with a certificate and a medallion with an embossed image of Ramon Magsaysay facing right in profile. The Award is presented to them in formal ceremonies in Manila, Philippines on August 31st, the birth anniversary of the much-esteemed Philippine President whose ideals inspired the Award’s creation in 1957.
The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation
The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation manages the Ramon Magsaysay Award program. The Foundation is composed of seven Filipinos and two foreign Awardees serving staggered four-year terms. An appointed president oversees the full-time administration of the program. Annually, the RMAF solicits award nominations from a wide-ranging pool of international nominators. Nominations are carefully investigated and the awardees are determined after rigorous evaluation by the Foundation's board of trustees.
The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation was created in 1957, the year the Philippines lost in a plane crash a President who was well-loved for his simplicity and humility, his passion for justice, particularly for the poor, and his advancement of human dignity. Among the many friends and admirers of the late President around the world were the Rockefeller brothers. With the concurrence of the Philippine government, the trustees of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF) established the Award to honor his memory and perpetuate his example of integrity in public service and pragmatic idealism within a democratic society.
Supported with a generous endowment from the RBF, the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation was organized in Manila in May 1957, with seven prominent Filipinos as founding members of the foundation's board of trustees. The Foundation has since implemented the Magsaysay Award program, pursuing the mission of "honoring greatness of spirit in selfless service to the people of Asia". The first Ramon Magsaysay Awards were given on August 31, 1958 to five outstanding individuals working in India, Indonesia, Philippines, Republic of China (Taiwan) and Sri Lanka, and a Philippine-based organization.