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In Memoriam Founding Director Roberto R. Romulo

In Memoriam

Roberto “Bobby” Romulo

December 9, 1938 – January 23, 2022

The US-Philippines Society deeply mourns the passing of Founding Director Roberto “Bobby” Romulo, at 83 on January 23, 2022 in Manila. In 2012, he helped to spearhead an initiative to form the US-Philippines Society and gathered support widely in the Philippines and the United States. He administered the US-Philippines Society “Carlos P. Romulo Awards” in recognition of the contributions of Filipinos and Americans who have strengthened Philippines-U.S. ties, a core mission of the Society.

Ambassador Romulo was Chairman of the Carlos P. Romulo Foundation for Peace and Development and the Zuellig Family Foundation. He shared his insights and perspectives on the conduct of domestic and foreign policy through his newspaper column “Filipino Worldview” covering crucial topics promoting the national interest, including disaster resilience, PH-US relations, integration of science and technology and quality education. He was actively generating support for meeting the immediate needs and recovery efforts in the wake of devastation caused recently by Typhoon Rai (Odette) which cost over 400 lives and $800 million in infrastructure and economic damage.

Ambassador Romulo was named as Philippine Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Communities in June 1989. President Fidel V. Ramos appointed Ambassador Romulo as the Philippines’ Secretary of Foreign Affairs in July 1992. In 1996, he served as the founding chairman of the APEC Business Advisory Council and chaired Philippine representation until 2010. From 1999 to 2001, Ambassador Romulo was Chairman of the e-ASEAN Task Force – a public/private sector advisory council created by the ASEAN Heads of Government.

His interest in artificial intelligence and new technological advancements stemmed from a 25-year career at IBM that began in 1965. He held marketing and management positions in New York, as managing director in Thailand and President in the Philippines.

Ambassador Romulo often reflected on the life of his father, Carlos P. Romulo. a statesman, public servant under eight Philippine presidents, and advocate for the Filipino, Philippine independence, and world peace. Citing his father as an example, Ambassador Romulo used an August 2020 US-Philippines Society program to praise the heroism and sense of duty of Filipinos, including healthcare workers on the frontlines throughout the world during the pandemic.

A mass is scheduled for January 25, 5 pm (PH time) or 4 am EST, hosted by Ambassador Jesus Tambunting via zoom. The Carlos P. Romulo Foundation announced that in lieu of flowers to consider a donation to a charity of your choice. For additional information, updates and tributes, please visit the website


Photo Gallery: Ambassador Romulo’s Advocacy

US-Philippines Society Director Amb. Roberto R. Romulo at the Special Joint Meeting of members of the US-Philippines Society and Makati Business Club

Ambassador Romulo supported the creation of a department of disaster resilience, Legislative Briefing Business Mission in Manila, February 2017.

US-PS and ZFF MOA signing at the Tower Club. (L-R) Hank Hendrickson (Executive Director) and Amb. John Maisto (President) from the US Philippines Society and Amb. Roberto R. Romulo (Chairman) and Ernesto D. Garilao (President) from the Zuellig Family Foundation

Georgetown University honorary degrees awarded to CPR and Howard Mitchell, conductor of the National Symphony and 1960 graduates Martha Mitchell and Roberto Romulo.

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