Imelda Nicolas was appointed in 2010 as chairperson of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, a cabinet secretary-level position within the Office of the President of the Philippines. Nicolas held this position until June 2016 as her term is co-terminus with the president's. In 2014, she was recognized by the Filipina Women’s Network as one of the 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the World.
Nicolas' global and regional work includes serving as co-chair of the Migrants in Countries in Crisis Initiative, and on the migration advisory board of the International Organization for Migration. She also served on the advisory committee for the ASEAN-Korean Migration Network Program, and the advisory group of the Achieving Skill Mobility in the ASEAN Economic Community project. Nicolas is currently a consultant at the United Nations’ Institute of Training and Research focusing on international migration, gender, and development.