The Council for the United States and Italy, an independent, private, non-profit organization, promotes and improves economic, social and cultural dialogue between Italy and the United States, linking them to Europe, Asia and Africa through a network of knowledge, free trade, education, politics, business. Members of our Council are prominent leaders in the economy, industry, finance, technology, services, consulting, law and culture – a community enhancing economic growth while promoting innovation, wealth, cultural values, sustainability, and human rights.
The Council for the United States and Italy was founded in Venice in 1983 by Gianni Agnelli and David Rockefeller, Marco Tronchetti Provera then served as Chairman, followed by Sergio Marchionne. Domenico Siniscalco is the current Chairman, Gianni Riotta Executive Vice Chairman.
While the American-Italian relationship can be traced back to Columbus’ discovery of the New World, it came to prominence with the surge of Italian immigration to the United States in the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th.
Today’s close relationship dates essentially from the closing years of World War II, when the United States played a key role in the Allied effort to liberate Italy.
In the period of economic and institutional reconstruction in Italy that followed, the farsighted generosity of American aid sowed the seeds of a bilateral cooperation that has grown within the transatlantic framework.
Italy has gradually emerged as an important actor in the process of European integration, in the formulation of a common Western security and defense policy, and in the increasingly interdependent economic system of the West through its memberships in the European Union, NATO, and the G8.
The potential conflicts among these different processes have been contained and reduced, first by the leadership of the United States, which has consistently favored European integration, and then by an expanded American-European partnership, which has played an increasingly international role.
In this context, Italian foreign policy has reconciled European priorities with a firm commitment to the transatlantic relationship.
As the broad network of US-Italian relations developed ranging widely across the fields of politics, economics, business, science, and culture, the idea emerged of establishing a private organization to enhance and broaden cooperation between the two countries, and also between the United States and Europe.
- Further strengthen effective relations among business leaders in the US and Italy.
- Share insights on the political and economic contexts in the two countries and beyond. Members are kept abreast of strategically relevant developments through the Council’s social media and dedicated newsletters.
- Develop intelligence on markets and politics that might not be evident to the broader public but might have strategic value to decision makers.
- Provide a platform for the analysis and discussion of the most momentous political and economic issues with the support of leading experts and contributors.
The Council’s International Board includes American and Italian members – business leaders with a personal and/or corporate interest in the other country, plus a limited number of leaders from academia and other fields – and it is co-chaired by an American and an Italian, highlighting the distinctive binational character of the Council.
In its first years, the Council consisted solely of a Board. However, the Italian branch of the Council subsequently decided to broaden its membership, and now includes Associate Members, almost all from the business, financial, and professional sectors. The Council is financed by membership contributions, supplemented by public and private sector sources of funding for specific program events.
Created in 1984, the Young Leaders Program is the Council’s oldest program. Its main activity consists in conferences that bring together young people under 40 years of age (typically in their 30s) from all sectors – academia, business, government, media, nonprofit/nongovernmental – who have demonstrated a record of accomplishment, leadership qualities and potential for growth in their respective fields of activity to discuss a subject of common interest. The purpose of the Young Leaders Conferences is to allow participants to gain new perspectives on issues of global relevance by exchanging and comparing knowledge and experience, as well as to create a network among emerging European and American leaders.
Alumni of the conferences, who now number over 800, include prominent leaders in the United States, Italy, and other countries, including past or present holders of positions of Prime Minister of Italy, President of Mexico, Members of the US Senate, the House of Representatives and the Italian Chamber of Deputies, American Ambassador to NATO, Italian Representative to the EU, Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank, Chairman of Assicurazioni Generali, Chairman of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, CEO of Ferrari, Chairman of Tim, President of Eni and President of Bard College.