Incoming Consul General Mario Lopez de Leon, Jr. (left) with his predecessor Consul General Cecilia B. Rebong in an exclusive Filipino Reporter photo at the Philippine Consulate in January.


The Philippine Consulate General New York bids a fond farewell to outgoing Consul General Cecilia B. Rebong, having served the Filipino-American community tirelessly since January 2004.

She ends her tour of duty this month.

On March 1, 2011, Ambassador Mario Lopez de Leon, Jr. will assume his post as new consul general with consular jurisdiction over Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.

De Leon ends his tour of duty as Philippine ambassador to South Africa this month.

De Leon has previously served as minister and consul general at the Philippine Embassy, London, United Kingdom (March 2000 - December 2006); consul and member, Investment Promotions Unit, Philippine Consulate General, New York (June 1993 - January 1997); third secretary then second secretary, Philippine Mission to the United Nations, New York (August 1990 - May 1993); vice consul, Philippine Consulate General, San Francisco (August 1989 - July 1990).

At the Department of Foreign Affairs, he has served as the chief coordinator of the secretary of Foreign Affairs (September 2008 - January 2010) and acting assistant secretary of the Office of Fiscal Management (June 2009 - January 2010).

He was also senior special assistant to the Undersecretary for Administration (January 2007 - August 2008), where he was directly involved in the establishment of the Internal Audit Services.

His other home office assignments were as follows: special assistant, Office of the Secretary, and director, CORATEL/Management Information Systems Division (September 1997 - February 2000), and director, Office of the United Nations and Other International Organizations (December 1986 - July 1989).

A career foreign service officer, de Leon has extensive experience in multilateral diplomacy and bilateral relations.

He was a member of the Philippine delegation and adviser to the president of the successful May 2010 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

He was a member of the Philippine delegation to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) Conference in New York in September 2009.

He participated in various capacities in several international conferences such as the UN General Assembly in New York; the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Assembly in London, United Kingdom; substantive sessions of the United Nations Disarmament Commission in New York; the UN ESCAP sessions in Bangkok; as well as in working groups of ASEAN and APEC in the field of information technology.

De Leon graduated with a bachelor of arts in social psychology (honorable mention) from the Ateneo de Manila University (1974).

He also attended the Ateneo School of Business where he pursued his MBA (units).

He is married to Eleanor de Leon and has four daughters: Ana Karisma, Anna Korinna, Khristine Mae and Joyce Kathleen, and an only son, Josef Kriyan, who passed away in 2006.

According to Rebong, “the past seven years serving the community in the northeast have been full and fulfilling. In partnership with the community, the Consulate General has achieved so many of the goals we set out for, opening even more avenues and opportunities to promote and protect the interests of the Philippines and of Filipinos throughout the Northeast USA. I enjoin the Filipino and the Filipino-American community to welcome Consul General Mario L. de Leon as warmly as they have welcomed me.”

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