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Romano Prodi

Robert Abernethy Professor of the Practice


Romano Prodi is the Robert Abernethy Professor of the Practice at SAIS Europe, President of the Foundation for Worldwide Cooperation, and Adjunct Professor of International and Public Affairs at Brown University. Previously he was Chairman of the United Nations-African Union High-level Panel for Peacekeeping in Africa (2008-2014) and professor at CEIBS (China Europe International Business School) in Shanghai, where he is currently a Member of the Board. Professor Prodi first entered politics in 1978, when he was appointed the Italian Minister of Industry. In 1995 he founded the "Olive Tree" center-left coalition. The coalition won the 1996 election and Prodi was appointed Prime Minister. He remained in office until October 1998. The measures introduced by his Cabinet enabled Italy to meet the Maastricht criteria for joining the Eurozone. From 1999 to 2005 Prodi served as President of the European Commission. During his presidency, the euro was successfully introduced; the Union was enlarged by 10 countries from central, eastern and southern Europe; and the treaty establishing a constitution for Europe was signed. In the 2006 parliamentary elections in Italy, Prodi again led the center-left coalition to victory, and again became Prime Minister, serving until May 8, 2008. From October 2012 to January 2014 he served as the Special Envoy of the Secretary General for the Sahel. Prodi received his law degree at the Catholic University of Milan and completed postgraduate work at the London School of Economics. He has held research and teaching positions at the University of Bologna, the Lombard Institute of Economic and Social Studies, Stanford Research Institute, the Free University of Trento, Johns Hopkins University SAIS Europe, Harvard University and Brown University.