MR. KENNETH ABANTE
Managing Director for Practice and Partnerships
WeSolve Foundations, Inc.
He organizes and does policy research with collective action movements in public finance, public transport, and public data to help the Philippines recover from the coronavirus pandemic. His research covers local and national government budgets for coronavirus recovery, road-based public transport and mobility, civil society participation in tax reform, smuggling and customs reform, open government data for empowerment, open government contracting and procurement, inclusion of persons with disability, and the spirituality of Ignatius of Loyola. He trains public servants and students on the discipline of completed staff work and budget research and advocacy.
In 2012, Ken graduated class valedictorian and program awardee of the management engineering program, with a minor in philosophy, from Ateneo de Manila University. From 2012 to 2016, he served in the Department of Finance in roles covering tax, customs, local finance, budget, economic policy and strategy, and the leadership transition. In 2017, he taught at the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies and was founding project director of the Martial Law Museum. In 2019, he finished his master in public administration in international development from Harvard Kennedy School, where he was awarded the class’s two top distinctions: the Raymond Vernon Award for Commitment to International Development and the Outstanding Second Year Policy Analysis Award for “Minimizing Smuggling and Restoring Public Trust in the Philippine Bureau of Customs”. He was also awarded two Derek C. Bok Center Certificates of Distinction in Teaching principles of economics at Harvard College. He organizes with civil society movements Move As One Coalition for public transport, Citizens’ Budget Tracker for budget transparency and accountability, and Tarabangan Kontra COVID-19 to strengthen the local health emergency response of Naga City and Camarines Sur. He serves as Managing Director of Practice and Partnerships at WeSolve Foundation, a social purpose organization that supports collective action movements towards sustainable impact. Ken hails from Canaman, Iriga, and Naga.