On Thursday, May 23, Luiss Vice President Paola Severino was named Chevalier dans l’ordre de la Légion d’Honneur by Ambassador of France to Italy Christian Masset, during a ceremony at Palazzo Farnese.
The Ambassador recalled Professor Severino’s “brilliant career”. Professor of criminal law and a criminal lawyer, Severino participated in a series of historic trials, including her representation of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities in a case against Nazi captain Erich Priebke. She was also the first woman to become Minister of Justice with the Monti government in 2011, bringing with her a series of reforms, including the so-called Severino law against corruption in 2012, a reference text in Italy and around the world.
Professor Severino’s excellence also extends to her teaching career. Full Professor of Penal Law, Paola Severino also acted as Rector of Luiss University from 2016 until 2018. The nomination of the French government adds to a long list of recognitions, including the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic from the President of the Italian Republic.
French President Emmanuel Macron honored Professor Severino for her dedication to fighting corruption, including her work with international organizations, such as her role as Special Representative to the President of the OSCE - Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. This recognition honors the Vice President’s hard work in the internationalization of Luiss University, which today counts 290 partnerships in 57 countries.
Under her leadership, Luiss “increased its already vibrant international scene, with numerous collaborations with France, and in particular, with Sciences Po in Paris,” stated Ambassador Masset, wishing his best for the “complete success of the second Luiss-Science Po forum in Paris.”
Applauding her work for “law, justice, research,” the ambassador underlined her constant commitment to the relationship between France and Italy, and offered her warm thanks.
At the end of the ceremony, Vice President Severino declared: “This important recognition is a point of pride for me, as it identifies with the ideals that I sought to pursue in my international experiences: to build cultural bridges between countries, and in particular, with countries with which our friendships have deep historic roots. The dialogue between Luiss and Sciences Po, led by two embassies, Confindustria and MEdef, represents one of the most significant examples.”
She added: “Receiving this prestigious honor at the splendid Embassy of France at Palazzo Farnese, a celebration of the relationship between our two countries, is just further inspiration to continue in my work of understanding and reform that can bring forward new European connections, generating extraordinary opportunities for our economies and our future.”