Since 2015, Luiss alumna Emanuela D'Alessandro has been Advisor to the President of the Italian Republic and Director of the Office of Diplomatic Affairs at the Quirinale.
A graduate of the Luiss Department of Political Science, D’Alessandro is the first woman to hold her position. Strongly linked to the University, D’Alessandro was one of the first students at Luiss University, and has fond memories of her time on the Viale Pola campus, when there were few students, each receiving personal attention. “It was the happiest period of my life. I studied like crazy, but had so much fun.” While at Luiss, Emanuela also prepared for the test to enter the Italian foreign service, but her most important memory at Luiss was “watching her daughter Lucrezia graduate in the Sala delle Colonne. I was so proud.”
Among her experiences, the Luiss alumni spoke about her most recent in Zagreb. “It was my first time as an ambassador abroad, from 2015 until 2015. I witnessed Croatia’s entrance to the European Union. The Balkans as a whole are characterized by complex dynamics that are important to Italy. We must be informed about the intense interconnections and things that go on in each of the region’s countries.”
Today, as a diplomatic advisor, D’Alessandro assists the president of Italy on a daily basis on issues linked to international relations, from “planning visits and meetings abroad and at home” to constant updates on heads of state, even if “the president is incredibly experienced and is very smart in using new technologies, helping him to stay extremely well informed,” she underlines. “In four years, President Mattarella has had over 220 meetings with heads of state and has carried out 40 visits abroad,” she explains.
According to Emanuela, being a diplomat requires a wide variety of skills. “Our job, both at home and abroad, serves multiple purposes. We have to provide political analysis as well as promote our economy, so we must be prepared to do both. We need to be kind and sensitive when approaching personal situations, especially in serious cases that we are providing assistance in. We need to demonstrate tact and strength when working with the country you are accredited in as relationships can sometimes be difficult but you must always defend the position and interests of Italy. Then there are multilateral forums where you have to work with multiple different actors. Essentially, you must be well educated in different fields, but must also demonstrate great flexibility, good common sense, to be able to understand priorities and solve problems.
The alumna underlines the importance of family, especially in diplomatic careers: “My husband and daughter showed incredible patience in following me around Europe.” It was, in fact, family that inspired her career in the first place: “My grandfather was a diplomat and I followed his various postings, which shaped my life and aspirations.”
Traveling the world, Emanuela has met amazing Luiss alumni. “Grouping together is important, we did not do it in my age, and now it is showing its fruits. So, I say, forza Luiss, forever.”