Ernesto Ordonez, MS ‘73/PhD ’76

President, Cement Manufacturers Assoc. of the Philippines

“NYU Stern gave me the gift of a management education,” says Dr. Ernesto Ordonez, MS ‘73/PhD ’76. “My gift to Stern is using that knowledge to promote and implement change.”
Dr. Ordonez has built a dynamic career helping others, specifically those in his native country, the Philippines. As the president of the Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines, Ordonez transformed the historically high-pollutant cement industry into a sustainable model, beating 32 industry sectors to win the Golden Hall of Fame Award for sustainable development.
Reflecting on his vibrant career and the legacy he has built in the Philippines, Ordonez emphasizes the importance of understanding management and how to mobilize resources, skills he attributes to his time at Stern.
“Bankers and manufacturers understand management, strategic planning, and negotiations. However, the agricultural industry has suffered from a clear gap in management and communication,” says Ordonez. “In 2003, I co-founded Alyansa Agrikultura, a national farmer-fisher coalition of 42 federations, to strengthen this industry by uniting its people and their voices.”
Ordonez is the current chair of Alyansa Agrikultura and the past president of the ASEAN Federation of Cement Manufacturers.
Achieving positive change in his country is what brought Ordonez to the United States in 1969. After earning his master’s degree at Yale University in the Department of Administrative Sciences, Ordonez sought a business program that would give him the practical tools he needed to make an impact in the Philippines. With inspiration from mentor and Professor Dale Zand, Ordonez completed an MS in Marketing and a PhD in Business Administration at NYU Stern. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on Instrumentality Theory – a theory based on understanding the motivations of others in order to achieve goals.
Ordonez’s career has straddled industries; after getting his start at Xerox, Ordonez spent several years working in Philippine government, where he was awarded the Presidential Golden Heart Award. He served as the Undersecretary of the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Agriculture, and as Cabinet Secretary for Presidential Flagship Programs and Projects under the Office of the President of the Philippines.
In 1999, Ordonez was the Executive Producer of the film “Saranggola”, or “The Kite”, the official Philippine entry for the 1999 Foreign Language category at the Academy Awards. Today, he writes a weekly economics column for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the largest newspaper in the country.
“A Stern education is a gift, one that should never be taken for granted,” he says. “And the most important part of that gift is the way in which you choose to pay it forward.”