September 29, 2023

A native of Sagada, Mountain Province, who is now based in Switzerland, was recognized by an international group as one of the world’s most influential women.
Lorena Domanog-Clerc, partnerships coordinator of Plan International Switzerland, received the Most Influential Filipina Woman in the World award from the Filipina Women’s Network (FWN), a San Francisco-based organization that seeks to increase the power and influence of Filipino women as leaders and policy makers on economic and social justice and women’s rights in the private and public sectors.
The FWN recognizes women of Philippine ancestry who are changing the face of leadership in the global workplace, having reached status for outstanding work in their respective fields, and are recognized for their contributions to society, “femtorship” (female mentoring), and legacy.
Domanog-Clerc was selected from an outstanding field of nominees from around the world and received the award late last year.
She was feted in the “Behind the Scenes Leader” award category, which recognizes Filipino women who may not have the big title or corner office, but is a driving force behind the success of a social cause or life issue, a community organization’s project or initiative; or her employer’s organizational business unit or department. 
It is bestowed on someone who has gone beyond the call of duty to devote time, energy, and resources to advocate for those who need a voice, or support the organization she represents or works for.
“This award is a validation of my humble contributions towards women empowerment and the promotion and appreciation of indigenous cultures. I thank FWN for bringing the Filipino women of the world together to work, support, and nurture each other to grow the empowered image of the Filipino woman and all women around the globe as well as to plan the future for our community and next generation leaders,” said Domanog-Clerc.
Her parents are from Sagada, but she grew up in Bontoc, Mountain Province, where she finished her elementary and secondary education at St. Vincent School.
An honor graduate of Education from Saint Louis University, Domanog-Clerc prides herself as an advocate for girls’ rights and respect for indigenous cultural heritage in the Philippines and Switzerland.
She was a professor at the University of Baguio before she moved to Switzerland to join her Swiss husband, Michel, a lawyer.
She earned her Master of Arts, English Literature and Linguistics from the University of Zurich and realizing the dearth of literature on Filipino migrants in Switzerland, she did a study on Language Use among Swiss Filipino Mixed-marriage Families in Switzerland.
Her study did not only add for a better representation of Filipinos in the Swiss academe, but also gave the Filipino migrants in Switzerland the opportunity to reflect on their language practices and its impact on their identities as Swiss-Filipinos as well as the maintenance and transmission of Philippine languages and culture.
She has also given out talks in Switzerland about the Philippines and her indigenous cultural heritage.
In a release, FWN Chief Executive Officer Marily Mondejar said the Global FWN100™ awardees are innovators and thought leaders, dynamic entrepreneurs, rising stars under age 35, practitioners, behind-the-scenes leaders, and public service advocates, who have moved through the ranks in the public and private sectors. They are magnificent women doing extraordinary work motivating next generation leaders.”
Thelma Boac, chair of the Global FWN100™ Awards and elected trustee of the San Jose, California Berryessa Union School District, said each nominee went through a rigorous vetting process by the selection committee composed of previous global awardees.
“They were selected based on the size and scope of their positions, influence in their industries and their communities, board affiliations, and other leadership roles.”
“Lorena Clerc is now a valued partner in helping FWN develop the Filipina community’s pipeline of qualified leaders to increase the odds that some will rise to the “president” position in all sectors of the global economy,” added Dr. Carol Enriquez, FWN board member and President and CEO of Our Lady of Fatima University. – Jane B. Cadalig