Past US-Italy Global Affairs Forum Events

In Rome We Trust: The Rise of Catholicism in American Political Life
Fri, December 8, 2017
12:00 PM – 2:00 PM EST
Johns Hopkins SAIS - BOB Building Room 736 1717 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington DC
 “This book examines the unusually serene relationship between the chief global superpower and the world's most ancient and renowned institution. The "Catholicization" of the United States is a recent phenomenon: some believe it began during the Reagan administration; others feel it emerged under George W. Bush's presidency. What is certain is that the Catholic presence in the American political ruling class was particularly prominent in the Obama administration: over one-third of cabinet members, the Vice President, the White House Chief of Staff, the heads of Homeland Security and the CIA, the Director and deputy Director of the FBI, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other top military officers were all Roman Catholic. Challenging perceived wisdom that the American Catholic Church is in crisis and that the political religion in the United States is Evangelicalism, Manlio Graziano provides an engaging account of the tendency of Catholics to play an increasingly significant role in American politics, as well as the rising role of American prelates in the Roman Catholic Church.”
Manlio Graziano, Author, Professor of Geopolitics of Religion at Sorbonne-Paris Paris France (By Satellite)
Donald Jensen: USITF Director and Senior Fellow at Center for Transatlantic Relations
John Gizzi: NewsMax White House Correspondent
John Farina: Associate Professor of Religious Studies at George Mason University


United Europe: Broken?

Thu, October 19, 2017
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT
Johns Hopkins SAIS- Rome Building Room 806 1619 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington DC 20036
After Brexit, German and Austrian elections, the Catalan crisis, and forthcoming referenda in North of Italy is the Old Continent splitting apart (again)?

A discussion with:
Donald Jensen, USITF, Director and Senior Fellow at Center for Transatlantic Relations:
Pablo Pardo, El Mundo US Correspondent, Madrid, Spain
Gianni Riotta, Opinionist, La Stampa, Il Sole 24 Ore, TG1 (Rai 1 News Flagship)

John Gizzi, Newsmax White House Correspondent

John Gizzi, Newsmax White House Correspondent​

Us-Italy Global Affairs Forum – Washington DC
FACEBOOK @usitalyforum
After the meeting on Youtube (US-Italy Global Affairs Forum)
Contact (USA): Daniele Moro, 
Communication (ITA), Alessandra Pozzi 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies - Rome Building, Auditorium
1619 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036

From Brexit and Macron’s France to the elections in Germany and Italy: unprecedented challenges between populism, nationalism and a new project of Union.
A conversation with Enrico Letta, Dean of the Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA) at Sciences Po in Paris, France and Former Prime Minister of Italy (via Skype)
Author of “Contro Venti e Maree: Idee sull’Europa e sull’Italia”, Il Mulino
Carlo Cottarelli, International Monetary Fund, Executive Director
Philip Crowther, France 24, Washington DC
Renzo Cianfanelli, Corriere della Sera (via Skype from London, UK)
Antonella Ciancio, La Stampa in English, Washington DC



Last Sunday event at Friendship Heights Village Center was a great success! We would like to thank Richard McCarthy Slow Food USA, Mike Koch FireFly Farms and Niraj Ray Cultivate the City for sharing their valuable experience and products with us. Participants had the chance to learn more about localfood, sustainability, environment, biodiversity and schoolgardens. This event was possible thanks to the strong partnership with the Italian Cultural Society of Washington DC and Istituto Italiano di Cultura Washington. 
A special thanks goes to everyone who attended and was involved in this inspiring event!

If you want to learn more about the world-wide Slow Food Movement, Terra Madre and Ark of Tastes don't miss our next event at SAIS - Johns Hopkins on February 8th, 2017. In this occasion, IDB, IMF and The World Bank experts and economists will discuss food sustanability, agricultural issues and international development challenges. 
Did you miss this event? Watch the video on youtube!

Il debito pubblico italiano

A Conversation about Italian Public Debt
Italy's public debt continues to threaten the financial and economic stability of the Euro zone. The panelists will discuss the current state of affairs based on their unique experience as advisors to the Italian government.

 Wednesday, October 26, 2016
12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies
Bernstein-Offit Building, Room 736
1717 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
Roberto Perotti, now a professor of economics at Bocconi University in Milan, resigned in November of 2015 from his position as economic advisor to Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi over the government's reluctance to make targeted cuts in public spending - after serving for just fourteen months in the position. His book "Status quo. Perché in Italia è così difficile cambiare le cose (e come cominciare a farlo)".
Carlo Cottarelli is Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund. Prior to that, he served as Spending Review Commissioner working on the plan to cut government expenditure in Italy. He resigned from this post in 2015 in protest over Renzi's ignoring of most of his proposals to reign in Italy’s public debt. He has extensively written on this issue, including the books "La lista della spesa" (2015) and "Il macigno" (2016).
Ivan Butina works with the World Bank Group's (WBG) communities of practice, helping them increase collaboration and knowledge sharing across organizational boundaries. Before the WBG he worked in strategic communications, both as an independent consultant and with a Washington, DC-based PR firm. He co-founded Italians in DC and the Young Diaspora of Bosnia and Herzegovina worldwide, and currently is on the board of the Washington European Society. He graduated from the Johns Hopkins University SAIS and the University of Bologna, Italy.  

WITH LOVE 2017"  


The completely SOLD OUT “Amatriciana with Love, a future for Central Italy” fundraising dinner held December 14 was again a great success. Many influential European and American friends gathered to savor a superb Amatriciana pasta (8 kilos of it, in fact), and tons of other typical Italian specialties prepared by the organizers and the participants from the US-Italy Global Affairs Forum, The Italian Cultural Society, SAIS Johns Hopkins University, COMITES, distinguished journalists and students.
Thank you to everyone for making this event an unforgettable evening!
The purpose was to collect money for the Italian Red Cross for the recent earthquake in Amatrice. The organizers (Nina Gardner Olivieri, HOST of this event, Daniele Moro, Francesca Casazza, Maura Guida Maffia, Chiara Gastaldi), the attendees, and a few generous donors who were unable to join the fun, contributed $7,020!

The entire amount collected is $12,370 ( the first charity dinner on September 28th [see the attachment] and the second charity dinner on December 14th).
Washington DC has shown to be one of the most supportive cities in the United States!
A special thanks goes also to the organizers, sponsors and Birra Nursia - Elisabetta Povoledo from The New York Times.
We will follow-up soon with the CRI wire transfer receipt and a surprise from the Italian Red Cross.

The food will be donated by the organizers and sponsors who will fully contribute to the fundraising event.
Dowload September charity dinner receipt and see how much we raised!

"Amatriciana with Love 2016"

Charity Dinner for Earthquake Victims in Central Italy

Wednesday, September 28, 2016, Washington, DC

The completely sold out 'Amatriciana with Love' fundraising dinner, held on September 28 in Washington, DC, was a tremendous success, collecting $5,530 in donations for the victims of the recent earthquake in central Italy. All donations have gone to the Italian Red Cross.
On behalf of the organizers - Nina Gardner Olivieri, Daniele Moro, Francesca Casazza, Maura Guida Maffia, and Manuela Di Muccio - we would like to thank all attendees and donators for their generous contributions. We are planning to host another fundraising dinner before Christmas so stay tuned. You can find more pictures of the event at
121 Experts Call on President Obama to Visit Tunisia

On July 27, 2016, a diverse group of 121 former members of Congress, former senior U.S. government officials, and prominent Middle East analysts sent a letter to President Obama encouraging him to make an official visit to Tunisia before the end of his term. Signatories include six former U.S. Ambassadors to Tunisia and 10 former Members of Congress, including Senator Joseph Lieberman and former House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman. Other signatories include former Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, former Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer, former Senior Director at the National Security Council Michael McFaul, former Director of National Intelligence Admiral Dennis Blair, and former Under Secretary of Defense Frank Wisner.
Read the letter  here .
Decision Point for the Citizens of Europe:
'Brexit' Referendum and Spanish Parliamentary Elections

Monday, June 20, 2016, Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)

Donald Jensen - Senior Fellow, Center for Transatlantic Relations

Juncal Fernández-Garayzábal - Institute for the Study of International Migration, Georgetown University
Renzo Cianfanelli - UN Contributing Editor, US-Italy Global Affairs Forum
John Gizzi - White House Correspondent, Newsmax
Llewellyn King - White House Chronicle

Visit the US-Italy Global Affairs Forum's Flickr page for all event pictures.
Il macigno: Perché il debito pubblico ci schiaccia e come si fa a liberarsene"

Event with Carlo Cottarelli - Executive Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)

Carlo Cottarelli - Executive Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Daniele Moro - Executive Director, US-Italy Global Affairs Forum

Andrea Goldstein - Managing Director, Nomisma); Antonella Ciancio - Washington, DC-Based Journalist; Fabrizio Goria - Economics Correspondent in Washington, DC for Il Corriere Della Sera

Visit the US-Italy Global Affairs Forum's Flickr page for all event pictures.

                         Watch the full video of the event (in Italian)                                   Watch the interview with Carlo Cottarelli (in Italian)
After Pope Francis' Visit to the United States - A Panel Discussion
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 at Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)
Donald N. Jensen - Senior Fellow, Center for Transatlantic Relations
Renzo Cianfanelli - New York Correspondent, US-Italy Global Affairs Forum; Sabrina Fritz - SWR/ARD German television and radio; John Gizzi - White House Correspondent Newsmax; Pablo Pardo - U.S. Correspondent, El Mundo; James Politi - Rome Bureau Chief, Financial Times
Read a Summary of the Event:
The US-Italy Global Affairs Forum welcomed a number of renowned contributors to the event ‘After Pope Francis’ Visit to the United States – A Panel Discussion’ on September 30, 2015: Donald Jensen (moderator), Sabrina Fritz, John Gizzi and via video conference from Rome James Politi and from New York Renzo Cianfanelli.
The panelists discussed a range of issues: the character of Pope Francis’ agenda and possible misperceptions of his message, the Pope’s balancing act trying to stay out of the culture wars in the United States, the potential consequences of the Pope’s meeting with Kim Davis, Pope Francis’ focus on climate change and possible implications for the Vatican's financial institutions, and the economic message of the pontiff. John Gizzi concluded that Francis is in effect a Rorschach test, a Pope who is seen by anyone depending on the persons’ own ideological background.
Visit our Flick page for more pictures of the event.
Visit our YouTube channel for complete video coverage of the event.
Brexit? Look Before You Leap

Renzo Cianfanelli, currently based at the United Nations in New York, is a contribution editor to the US-Italy Global Affairs Forum. He is an award-winning international and war correspondent and a visiting scholar, holding a Dr. Jur. degree in Law and Economics.

Read the commentary here.

The US-Italy Global Affairs Forum will host a panel discussion focusing on the Brexit referendum as well as the Spanish parliamentary elections on June 20, 2016. Panelists include Mr. Cianfanelli, John Gizzi (White House correspondent, Newsmax), and Juncal Fernández-Garayzábal (Institute for the Study of International Migrations (ISIM), Georgetown University). The panel discussion will be moderated by Donald Jensen (Senior Fellow, Center for Transatlantic Relations) and is organized in cooperation with the Center for Transatlantic Relations.
Presentazione numero di Limes dedicato agli USA - "U.S. Confidential"
Presentation of the the newest edition of Limes and panel discussion
Friday, June 12, 2015 at The National Press Club
Lorenzo Montanari - Executive Board Member, US-Italy Global Affairs Forum
Amb. Francesco Olivieri - former president, ENEL-USA, Washington, DC; Dario Fabbri - Limes; Giovanni Faleg - ricercatore/researcher, Centre for European Policy Studies, Washington, DC
Read a Summary of the Event:  
On June 12th, the US-Italy Global Affairs Forum hosted, at the National Press Club, the official presentation of the LIMES-Rivista Italiana di Geopolitica (Limes) June’s issue. The roundtable discussion was a great opportunity to debate with journalists and foreign policy experts about the Limes’ June issue.
The event was moderated by Lorenzo Montanari, board member of the US-Italy Global Affairs Forum, with three speakers: Dario Fabbri, journalist at LIMES, Ambassador Francesco Olivieri, and Dr. Giovanni Faleg, researcher at the Centre for European Policy Studies.
Dario Fabbri (in connection via Skype from Rome) presented the June issue,  and provided a provocative portrait of the U.S.. He described the U.S democratic system as being lead by an inner circle of oligarchs supported by a system of lobbies.
While Ambassador Olivieri provide a unique portrait about America today. Today's Europeans are somewhat conflicted about America.  The image they grew up with doesn't reflect anymore the reality of a society that has exploded in a few decades into a massive world power. In the process, little wonder that she lost some of the homespun character that captivated Old World citizens of all ages and all persuasions when they first met Americans in their role as liberators, victorious warriors who didn't exterminate the conquered and started feeding them instead. Today's America, two generations into a unipolar world, appears in a much more complex and nuanced reality. That is due not only to a more sober appreciation of starstruck Europeans, but naturally enough to the fact that profound changes have indeed occurred in America herself. 
Last but not least, Dr. Giovanni Faleg focused his presentation on how the U.S. is facing internal conflict between repositioning themselves as a global player in the international arena, and fixing technological asymmetries within the U.S.  political system. These discrepancies have direct consequences on the way the U.S and the European Union are managing geopolitical conflicts such as in Ukraine and Syria. 
The Future of Europe: Criminal Networks Seeking Alternative Routes as Refugees Remain in Limbo
With Emiliano Alessandri (OSCE)

Building walls does not represent a solution to the migrant and refugee crisis in Europe, as smugglers are already seeking alternative routes to human trafficking and thousands of migrants stranded at the border risk to fall prey to criminal networks as their fate remains uncertain, said Emiliano Alessandri, senior external co-operation officer in the Office of the Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Speaking in an interview with the USITA Forum ahead of the visit of OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier to New York and Washington, DC this week, Alessandri said new, long-term migration policies are necessary to manage the migration emergency, which is becoming a new emerging security issue for Europe.

Read the Transcript
Listen to the Interview
Are European Responses to Extremism Sufficient and in Time?

A Round-Table Discussion on the Latest Policy and Legislative Developments in Europe Aimed at Confronting the Surge of Radicalism and Hate Crimes
Thursday, June 11, 2015 at The National Press Club
Elaine Panter - Executive Board Member, US-Italy Global Affairs Forum
Mike Whine - Director, Government & International Affairs Community Security Trust (CST); UK member European Commission against Racism & Intolerance (ECRI); Daniele Moro - Executive Director, US-Italy Global Affairs Forum, Free-Lance Journalist and International Expert on Terrorism
Read a Summary of the Event:
On June 11, 2015, the US-Italy Global Affairs Forum hosted a round-table discussion titled: “Are European responses to extremism sufficient and in time?” at the National Press Club in Washington DC.
The keynote speaker was Mr. Mike Whine, Director of the Government and International Affairs Community Security Trust in the United Kingdom and UK Member of the European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance at the Council of Europe. Mr. Whine began the discussion with an overview of UK’s recently reformed efforts to address Islamic radicalization in the country and to promote cooperation with other European partners. Among the initiatives cited were the strengthening of minority groups within the Islamic communities that advocate for democracy and respect of human rights, the promotion of dialogue among moderate Sharia scholars and extremist groups and targeted de-radicalization efforts in UK prisons. Mr. Whine further emphasized the positive results obtained by the improved cooperation among UK intelligence departments in understanding the problem and preventing potential threats to national security.
Mr. Daniele Moro, Managing Director of the US-Italy Global Affairs Forum, followed Mr. Whine’s intervention and shifted the focus to Italian and American efforts to confront the threat of Islamic radicalization, with special attention to projects aimed at improving dialogue with governments in the Middle East. Conference participants commented on the need to strengthen the legal framework against hate crimes in Europe through harmonization of European legislation, trainings of law enforcement and integration into EU jurisdictions of the 2008 Council Framework Decision that requires all EU member states to legislate against incitement to racial and religious hatred. Mr. Whine, however, reminded the attendees that existing legislation should also be implemented and called for the development of administrative measures that take into consideration the volatile nature of terrorism.  Participants working in the development field further emphasized the importance of education and economic reform addressing youth unemployment in tackling radicalization.
The event concluded with remarks by Mr. Whine and Mr. Moro who renewed their commitment to working together to raise awareness on issues of anti-terrorism and US-Italy relations and a promise to organize similar joint events in the future. 
La Lista Della Spesa - La verità sulla spesa pubblica italiana e come si può tagliare
Event with Carlo Cottarelli, Executive Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF)
Carlo Cottarelli - Executive Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Daniele Moro - Executive Director, US-Italy Global Affairs Forum
Sara Forden - Bloomberg News; Antonella Ciancio - Freelance Journalist; Renzo Cianfanelli - Foreign Correspondent and Journalist

For more pictures of the event, please visit the album on our Flickr page.
Click on the follwing links for videos of the event: Video 1 , Video 2
Read a Summary of the Event in English:
On June 9, 2015 US-Italy Global Affairs Forum presented Carlo Cottarelli’s new book: ‘La lista della spesa: La verità sulla spesa pubblica italiana e come si può tagliare.’  Cottarelli – the former head of Italy’s public spending review, currently executive director at the International Monetary Fund – presented five big themes that are crucial in his analysis of Italy’s public spending.
Italy’s political debate on public spending is often based on myths and urban legends, rather than on real data.  Cutting public expenditures is both possible and necessary, if Italy is to secure the resources it needs to give impulse to economic recovery.  Indeed, expenditures have already been cut by roughly 10 per cent in real terms (i.e. in terms of purchasing power) between 2009 and 2013.  More remains to be done.
Italy’s public sector is complex and hard to control.  A system encompassing more than 10.000 publicly held companies, more than 8.000 municipalities, thousands of centralized and decentralized agencies is by nature opaque, expensive and easily permeable to corruption.  The new law reforming the public sector needs to be passed and implemented as soon as possible.
The efficiency of public spending varies considerably across different Italian regions.  Differences are particularly meaningful between North and South, and between ordinary and autonomous regions.  Territorial differences need to be taken into account when cutting public expenditures.
Efficiency measures – necessary as they are – imply tough decisions.  The problem of surplus staff in the public sector as a consequence of efficiency measures cannot be underestimated. 
The fight against petty privileges has a crucial symbolic value, even though its economic significance might be marginal.  Cutting the expenditures of Italy’s political machinery, it might be possible to generate a larger consensus on more meaningful cuts in different areas.
More cuts to public expenditures are needed – Cottarelli concluded – in order to cut taxes and provide momentum for Italy’s still feeble economic recovery.  There is no immediate emergency in 2015, as it was the case in 2011.  Italy, nonetheless, needs to seize the opportunity presented by this phase of relative calm, pushing ahead with structural reform.  
Read a Summary of the Event in Italian:
Il 9 giugno US-Italy Global Affairs Forum ha presentato il nuovo volume di Carlo Cottarelli, ‘La lista della spesa: La verità sulla spesa pubblica italiana e come si può tagliare’.  L’ex commissario straordinario per la revisione della spesa in Italia – ora executive director al Fondo Monetario Internazionale – ha evidenziato cinque temi centrali della sua analisi della spesa pubblica in Italia.
C’è scarsa conoscenza della spesa pubblica italiana.  Il dibattito sul tema è spesso basato su leggende metropolitane, piuttosto che su dati reali.  Tagliare la spesa è possibile e necessario, se ci si vogliono garantire le risorse per poi puntare decisamente alla crescita.  Tra il 2009 ed il 2013 la spesa al netto degli interessi si è ridotta di circa il 10 per cento in termini reali (cioe’ in termini di potere d’acquisto).  Bisogna continuare su questa strada.
L’amministrazione pubblica italiana è complessa e difficile da monitorare.  Più di 10.000 societa’ partecipate, piu’ di 8000 comuni, migliaia di amministrazioni centrali e periferiche creano un sistema opaco, costoso e facilmente permeabile alla corruzione.  La nuova legge sulla pubblica amministrazione va approvata e implementata al più presto.
L'efficienza della spesa pubblica cambia sensibilmente da una regione all’altra d’Italia.  Le differenze sono particolarmente sensibili tra nord e sud, tra regioni ordinarie e a statuto speciale.  I tagli devono necessariamente tenere conto di queste differenze territoriali.
Il cosiddetto efficientamento della pubblica amministrazione – per quanto necessario – comporta scelte difficili.  Il tema degli esuberi che le riforme di efficientamento creano non puo’ essere ignorato.
La lotta ai piccoli privilegi è fondamentale dal punto di vista simbolico, sebbene il suo impatto economico possa essere marginale.  I tagli ai costi della politica, ad esempio, possono generare nell’opinione pubblica il consenso necessario a tagli ben più incisivi in altri capitoli di spesa.
Ulteriori tagli alla spesa pubblica sono necessari – ha concluso Cottarelli – per poter ridurre le tasse e dare nuovo slancio ad un’anemica ripresa congiunturale.  L’Italia del 2015 non è in uno stato di emergenza paragonabile a quello del 2011.  Proprio per questo, però, deve cogliere l’opportunità concessale da questa relativa calma e andare avanti con le riforme strutturali.
Read news coverage about Mr. Cottarelli's book:
The Future of Europe: Are EU "centrifugal forces" preventing a US trade deal?
With U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman
U.S. trade chief Michael Froman speaks in the US-Italy Global Affairs Forum's new video series about 'The Future of Europe'.

Europe is under incredible pressure - from the risk of Brexit to the refugee crisis. With such "centrifugal forces" at play, are we ready to share better standards of life in a rapidly globalizing world? U.S. trade representative Michael Froman calls on the EU to overcome concerns and try to sign the ambitious trade deal TTIP with the U.S. before president Obama leaves office in January 2017.

Antonella Ciancio is a business journalist, based in Washington DC. Previously with Reuters, she is the chair of the Freelance committee of the National Press Club and the video editor in chief of the US-Italy Global Affairs Forum. Follow her on Twitter: @ciancioreporter

With introduction in Italian                                                                                                    With English subtitles to introduction