Dr. Habito is a Professor of Economics at the Ateneo de Manila University, where he is also currently a Senior Fellow and former Director of the Ateneo Center for Economic Research and Development (2001-2012). He is also Chairman of Brain Trust Inc. and writes the twice-weekly op-ed column “No Free Lunch” for the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
His professional career has spanned work in government, academe, business sector and civil society. He served in the Cabinet throughout the term of former President Fidel V. Ramos in 1992-1998, as Secretary of Socioeconomic Planning, heading the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). In 1998, he was elected Chair of the Sixth Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development in New York. Prior to joining government, he was Professor and Chair at the Department of Economics of the University of the Philippines-Los Baños (UPLB). He had also worked as Research Consultant at the World Bank, Teaching Fellow at Harvard University, Visiting Research Fellow at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies in Kyoto University, Visiting Fellow of the Asian Development Bank Institute in Tokyo, and Visiting Professor at the Asian Institute of Management and De La Salle Graduate School of Business. He has served in the boards of First Gen, Manila Water Company, Metrobank, Philsteel Holdings and Lepanto Mining, among others. He has also been tapped by the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, USAID, AusAID, JICA, UNICEF and other development agencies to advise the government of the Philippines and of other countries in Asia-Pacific and Latin America. His civil society involvements include Operation Compassion Philippines, Knights of Columbus, Manila Water Foundation, Galing Pook Foundation, and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)-Philippines. He holds a Ph.D. and Master of Arts in Economics from Harvard University, Master of Economics from the University of New England (Australia), and Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (Major in Agricultural Economics), Summa cum Laude from the University of the Philippines.