Advisory Board

Emiliano Alessandri, Advisory Board Member
Mr. Emiliano Alessandri currently works in the Office of the Secretary General of the Organization for Co-Operation and Security in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna. Before joining the OSCE in 2013, Dr. Alessandri was a senior transatlantic fellow with the German Marshall Fund of the US, where he helped develop the Mediterranean, Turkish, and wider Atlantic programs from the organization’s Washington office. He holds a Ph.D. in international history from Cambridge University and a Master’s degree from SAIS, the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Alessandri’s main fields of interest are American Foreign Policy and Transatlantic Relations, with a focus on transatlantic cooperation in the Mediterranean region and Turkey’s role in the transatlantic relationship.

Ivan Butina, Advisory Board Member
Mr.Ivan Butina is a community builder and diaspora organizer. He is working with the World Bank create and develop valuable communities of practice that facilitate knowledge flows and professional collaboration. Together with other Italian expats in Washington, DC Mr. Butina founded Italians in DC, a non-profit organization connecting Italians and promoting contemporary Italian culture.   

Lucio Caracciolo, Advisory Board Member
Mr. Lucio Caracciolo is a journalist, essayist and Italian lecturer. He graduated in philosophy at the University La Sapienza of Rome and he is currently directing “Limes”, the main Italian geopolitical magazine which he founded in 1993. He is considered one of the greatest Italian experts in geopolitics.

Renzo Cianfanelli, Advisory Board Member
Mr. Renzo Cianfanelli is an award-winning foreign correspondent and columnist, holding a DrJur in Law and Monetary Economics (Rome, La Sapienza), currently based at the United Nations in New York. Soon after graduation, he left his native Italy for London, with a 4-year contract as a broadcaster with the BBC. He then joined RCS Corriere della Sera, Italy’s main media group, for which he served in a variety of international posts over nearly 30 years. These included London and US Bureau Chief, Moscow special correspondent, and world correspondent-at-large. As a war correspondent, he covered most recent conflicts from Bosnia to Iraq. He also writes a monthly column in Longitude, Italy’s journal in English on World Affairs.

Tommaso De Zan, Advisory Board Member
Mr. Tommaso De Zan is a strategic communcations consultant with the US-Italy Global Affairs Forum and junior researcher at the International Affairs Institute (IAI), one of the leading foreign affairs think tanks in Italy. His research interests lie at the intersection between international security, technology, and policy. He holds a master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Bologna. During his academic career, he was an exchange student at the Ecole des Sciences Politiques et Sociales, Université Catholique de Louvain, and at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies. Prior to join IAI, he interned at the International Peace Research Institute in Geneva”

John Gizzi, Advisory Board Member
Mr. John Gizzi is Newsmax’s chief political columnist and White House correspondent. He is “the man who knows everyone in Washington” as well as many who hold elected positions and party leadership roles throughout America. He has appeared on countless radio and TV shows in America and Europe. He is the recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002.

Nesti Gjeluci, Advisory Board Member
Nesti Gjeluci
works in Washington, DC at the German Marshall Fund of the United States as Manager of Strategic Partnerships.  He has Masters Degrees in International Studies and Public Affairs from the University of Washington, Seattle.  Previously, he has worked for the International Republican Institute covering democracy promotion programs in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as participating in several election observations in Europe and Asia.  He frequently writes and publishes articles in mainstream Albanian newspapers largely as a social critic.  He also publishes his translations of articles originally published on First Things, The Catholic Thing, Touchstone Magazine, the Public Discourse, etc.  He lives in Alexandria, VA with his wife and two kids. 

Benjamin Hilgenstock, Advisory Board Member Mr. Benjamin Hilgenstock is responsible at the US-Italy Global Affairs Forum for the planning and promotion of events as well as for the Forum’s website and social media presence. Benjamin is currently a research fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations. He is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science at Christian Albrechts-Universität Kiel, Germany and is conducting research on the U.S. foreign policy decision making process, specifically process dysfunctionalities as a result of small group decision making within the executive branch. Most recently, he spent three years as a visiting research scholar in the Department of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University. Benjamin holds a Master of Arts degree in political science from Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Germany with a concentration in comparative government and minors in economics and German constitutional law. He also completed a certificate program at American University in American politics and possesses a comprehensive understanding of political structures and dynamics in both the United States and Europe.

Stanley Kober, Advisory Board Member
Mr. Stanley Kober is a former Research Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies at the Cato Institute. He is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and received his Ph.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. His areas of expertise include the relationship between democracy and peace, with a focus on control over the war power.

Eugenio Novario, Advisory Board Member
Mr. Eugenio Novario is a Lawyer and auditor in Novara (Italy). Taught commercial law and international commercial law as well as European Union law at the University of Verona. Worked as a lecturer of the courses at ISPI Institute and Italy-Russia Association and of the Master’s ELEO at the University of Venezia on international economic subjects related to Caucasus and Caspian areas and Central Asia.
Founder and President of Limes Club Cisalpino, Secretary of Club Atlantico Cisalpino. Published the following articles in the online digital magazine Limes: “The elections in Kyrgyzstan, between internal divisions and superpowers” (in 2011) and “Tajikistan’s key year”. Executive Vice President of Italy Europe Asia Export Consortium as well as member of the Board of Director of Association for Italian-Kazakh Trade.

Clarissa Spada, Washington DC – Usa
Clarissa Spada
is Project Manager at Turtle Group Consulting and Head of Research for the Italian Port Security Project. She is a LLM candidate at the Geneva Academy (Geneva) following a specialization on European migration policies. Clarissa Spada obtained a law degree with a specialization in International Law from LUISS Guido Carli, Rome. During her university career, she conducted an internship at the Political Office of the Italian Embassy in Washington, where she followed migration and terrorism. After her graduation, she conducted a similar experience at the European Union Delegation in Washington. Prior to starting her LLM, she participated in a training course on transnational organized crime at the United Nations Interregional Crime and Research Institute (UNICRI).

Mike White, Advisory Board Member
Michael Whineis
the Director of Government and International Affairs at the Community Security Trust for whom he has worked for over thirty years. He also acts as Consultant to the European Jewish Congress Security and Crisis Centre (SACC by EJC). Additionally he is a member of the UK Government Hate Crime Independent Advisory Group and the Hate Crime Scrutiny Panel of the Crown Prosecution Service. Between 2013 and 2015 he acted as Lay Advisor to the Counter Terrorism Division of the Crown Prosecution Service. In 2015, he was appointed the UK Member of ECRI, the Council of Europe human rights standing commission which advises member states and inspects their compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights. He has represented both the European Jewish Congress, and on occasions the UK Government, at meetings of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and its National Point of Contact on Hate Crimes meetings since 2004.  He has been a researcher on political and religious extremism, terrorism and antisemitism for thirty years, and has published forty papers in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and books. He was appointed MBE in the 2015 New Years Honours.