Jose Ramon T. Villarin
Jose Ramon T. Villarin, SJ, or Fr. Jett as he is fondly called by students and colleagues, is a Filipino Jesuit priest and physicist, and the incumbent President of the Ateneo de Manila University. He is the 30th university president, succeeding Fr. Bienvenido F. Nebres, SJ, who retired in May 2011.
Fr. Villarin was born in Manila on January 30, 1960. He attended the Ateneo de Manila University for his undergraduate studies, finishing with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics, magna cum laude. He graduated in 1980 as class valedictorian. After graduation, he entered the Society of Jesus and attended the Loyola School of Theology, where he received a degree in Philosophy. He later did graduate studies in the U.S., receiving a Master in Science in Physics from Marquette University in 1987 and a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Physics from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1997.
Fr. Villarin entered the Sacred Heart Novitiate in May 1981, shortly after graduation from the Ateneo. He was ordained priest in April 1991, and took his final vows in January 2005.
Fr. Villarin has served in various capacities throughout his career as a scientist. He worked as a graduate research assistant in Georgia Tech where he was accorded the “Best Graduate Student Research Award” in 1997. From the late nineties until 2005, he taught as Associate Professor at the Physics Department in Ateneo and served as Associate Director for Research at the Manila Observatory. He currently sits at the Board of Trustees of the Manila Observatory as well as other Ateneo Schools in the Southern Philippines.
At present, Fr. Villarin is lead reviewer for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and member of organizations such as the Advisory Board of the Climate Change Commission in the Philippines and the Physics Society of the Philippines, among others. He was also a part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts in disseminating knowledge on climate change. He was also a contributing writer for “Disturbing Climate” which won the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) Outstanding Book Award. On occasion, he writes the column, “God’s Word Today” for the popular broadsheet Philippine Star.