This is the personal website of Rosalia (Lia) Sciortino Sumaryono, who likes to define herself as “a global citizen landed in Southeast Asia from Europe”. Her work with foundations and development and cultural organizations and as a social scientist has focused on various dimensions of Southeast Asia, as her writing collected in this website tries to capture.

Besides various sections devoted to different types of publications, the website also includes links to organizations she has helped establish and currently manages as well as photos of Indonesian glass paintings she collected with her late husband, O’ong Maryono.


Dr. Rosalia (Lia) Sciortino Sumaryono, a cultural anthropologist and development sociologist by training, earned her master and doctorate at the Vrije Universities, Amsterdam with honors. Currently, she is Associate Professor at the Institute for Population and Social Research (IPSR), Mahidol University, Visiting Professor at the Master and PhD n International Development Studies (MAIDS/GRID), Chulalongkorn University in Thailand and Senior Social Development and Health Advisor to Empowering Indonesian Women for Poverty Reduction Program (MAMPU), a joint initiative of the Indonesian Ministry of National Development Planning (Bappenas) and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) implemented by Cowater in Indonesia.

She also recently founded and directs the Foundation for Southeast Asian Studies and its core activity SEA Junction, a public venue for interaction and cross-learning on Southeast Asia.

Most recently, Dr. Sciortino was IDRC Regional Director for Southeast and East Asia in Singapore (2010-2014), Senior Adviser for the Health Program to the Australian Agency for International Development in Indonesia (2009-2010), and Regional Director for Asia of the Rockefeller Foundation (2000-2007) establishing during her tenure the Foundation’s Southeast Asia Office in Bangkok. Prior to that, she was program officer Gender, Health and Human Development at the Indonesia and Philippines offices of the Ford Foundation from 1993 to 2000.

Dr. Sciortino acts as a consultant for international and regional organizations, as an adviser for academic and international development institutions, and is a member of scientific and institutional boards. In November 2017, she received a medal by the Vietnamese Association of Social Sciences for her contribution to social sciences in Vietnam.

She fluently speaks Italian, English, Indonesian and Dutch and has published widely on development issues in Southeast Asia, in particular philanthropy, international development, regional integration in the Greater Mekong Sub-region and ASEAN, poverty and vulnerability, social protection, migration, gender, social health, sexual and reproductive health.

Born in Palermo in 1959, she married the late pencak silat master and martial arts expert O’ong Maryono (1953-2013) in whose memory she established in 2014 the O’ong Maryono Pencak Silat Awards, a small grant program that provides opportunities to research, document and publish about pencak silat, a rich, but still relatively unknown, Malay martial art.


  • International Development
  • Philanthropy
  • Southeast Asia and Southeast Asian Studies
  • Social Sciences
  • Anthropology
  • Medical Anthropology
  • Human Rights
  • Gender and Women’s Rights
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Current Affiliations

  • Associate Professor, Institute for Population and Social Research (IPSR), Mahidol University
  • President and Executive Director, Foundation for Southeast Asia Studies (ForSEAs) and SEA (Southeast Asia) Junction,
  • Visiting Professor, MA and PhD in International Development Studies (MAIDS-GRID) Program, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University

Current Appointments

  • 2018-present Member, UNFPA Global Advisory Council
  • 2016-present Member, International Board GAATW Global Alliance Against Trafficking of Women. Thailand
  • 2015-present   Member, International Strategic Board, Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR)

Social Media

Facebook: Lia Sciortino Sumaryono
IG: @liasciortinosumaryono
Twitter: @liasciortino
LinkedIn: Rosalia Sciortino

(for a complete CV see Linkdin as per above)