Maria Grazia Quieti (Program Director)

Dr. Quieti came to AUR after serving for many years as Senior Policy Officer at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).   Dr. Quieti worked on education programs and technical assistance on sustainable food and agricultural development policies and programs with governments, academic/research institutions and civic organizations both from industrialized and developing countries.   Her career spanned the globe, managing projects in Asia, the Near East, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. She was responsible for the participation of more than 800 civil society organizations at FAO’s World Food Summit in Rome in 1996 and  the training of developing countries’ delegates for negotiations on agriculture with the World Trade Organization (WTO).
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Giacomo Branca

Giacomo Branca is currently Associate Professor of Agriculture and Resource Economics and Policy at Tuscia University (Viterbo, Italy) and Adjunct Professor of Food Policy at the American University of Rome. He also teaches Rural Development at the International Institute for International Studies (ISPI, Milan) within the MA Program in Development studies.
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Arianna Consolandi

Dr. Consolandi has extensive research experience. She carried out research for her doctoral dissertation at the University of Milan in collaboration with Roma Tre University. For her research, she focused on the study of molecular mechanisms of self-resistance in antibiotic-producing microorganisms and new methods for selecting overproducer strains to support clinical trials.
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Maria Fonte

Maria Fonte has extensive experience in research and teaching on topics in the field of Rural Sociology and Agricultural Economics. Her research activities are focused on agriculture, agro-food systems and rural development, especially in industrial and post-industrial economies.  She has been the coordinator of research projects involving several European countries and has served as member of the Scientific Committee of many conferences and of journals.  Her publications are in the areas of the agro-biotechnological revolution, the turn to quality in agriculture, the role of local knowledge in agriculture and rural development, territorial policies of rural development, models of food consumption, civic food networks and local food.    She is a member of the European Society for Rural Sociological (ESRS) and Founding member of the Association for Studies and Research Manlio Rossi-Doria.
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Dalia Mattioni

Dr. Mattioni’s research areas are food policy, food environments and food security. For the past 20 years, she has been collaborating extensively with the Rome-based UN agencies in project management in developing countries, research and training on various topics such as sustainable livelihoods, project impact assessments and gender. In FAO she worked with the Nutrition and Food Systems Division on a Food and Green Environment Project implemented in Dar es Salaam, Lima and Tunis, and more recently she has worked as a research associate with the University of Cardiff on an EU-funded project on urban food systems in Europe. She has experience in using mixed methods of research, and particularly qualitative methods, and her more recent research has used transition theory and social practice theory as analytical frames.
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Marzia Mauriello

Marzia Mauriello’s research areas cover gender, health and body issues, and food cultures. She has published, nationally and internationally, on topics related to gender and sexuality, gender variance, and on the intersection between food and gender in urban contexts. For more than a decade she has been carrying out fieldwork activities mainly in Naples. She has worked on food cultures in Naples in relation to gender, space, and migration.
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Marina Mefleh

Marina Mefleh’s areas of research include  the development of sustainable plant-based foods with good nutritional profile using various alternative sources of protein. She has been working on the sustainability and biodiversity of ancient and old wheats and their suitability in the production of bread. She has published many articles in the areas of food fermentation, plant-based alternatives to dairy products, and grain quality of old wheats grown in the Mediterranean region under low nitrogen input. She serves as an advisor to the bakery and farming industries within the framework of current agri-food and trade policy context.   She also worked as nutritionist in a private clinic in Beirut.

Livia Ortolani

Since 2003, Dr Ortolani has been employed at the Italian Association for Organic Farming (AIAB), where she first focused on Agriculture and Conservation interaction, before moving in 2009 to coordination of the AIAB Research Office and being directly involved in EU funded Research projects on multiple issues (e.g. agrobiodiversity, agroecology, weed management, organic wine production, organic arable crops, urban farming).
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Silvia Paolini

Silvia Paolini is a founding member of the AiCARE network (Italian Agency for the Countryside and for Responsible and Ethical Agriculture) and director of the Center for Agroecology and Social Agriculture (CA.SA). As an agronomist and organic farmer, she has extensive experience in multifunctional, social and civic agriculture; care farming; agroecology and circular economy; local food systems and short food supply chains; and socio-economic analysis and promotion of in-farm direct sales.
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Chiara Perelli

Chiara Perelli’s research interests range from the sustainable management of natural resources to the climate change impacts on developing contexts, both in terms of food security and social equality. Furthermore, she is interested in socio-economic factors affecting the adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices and, in particular, in the role played by women in developing sustainable agricultural systems.
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Valentina Peveri

Since 2004 Valentina Peveri has carried out fieldwork in Southern Ethiopia on the robust constitution of an indigenous plant and of the (women) farmers who cultivate it. Her goal as an anthropologist has been to explore the links between agriculture, natural resources, crop/livelihood choices, and food security; and especially to provide evidence of the role of gender in these relationships. In 2017, Prof. Peveri was awarded one of eight prestigious fellowships by the Wenner Gren Foundation for her research project entitled The Edible Gardens of Ethiopia. An Ethnographic Journey into Landscapes of Diversity and Hunger.
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David Pollon

Professor Pollon has been teaching courses in finance, economics and the entertainment industry at AUR since 2003. He also teaches graduate seminars for the MBA program of the Institut Superieur de Gestion in Paris, France. Prior to entering the academic world, Professor Pollon made his career in the international financial arena working for The Walt Disney Company. After serving as Finance Director at the company's headquarters in Los Angeles, he became Finance Director in the UK and then Italy, where he was in charge of all cinema, video, and DVD financial operations. 
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Laura Prota

Specialized in social network analysis and rural development, Professor Prota adopts a relational approach to study the configuration of agricultural production and innovation systems under globalization. She published on issues related to the specificity of Southeast Asian market transition with a particular focus on place and path dependent trajectories of development, land markets, persistent poverty, gender and labor rights. Laura also published methodological articles on network analysis aiming at identifying methods to identify the structural evolutionary patterns of economic systems. 
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Colin Sage

Colin Sage is an independent scholar engaged in thinking about pathways of transition to more sustainable futures. His main research interests centre upon the food system, civic initiatives for social change, and the potential of personal transformation for environmental improvement. Though recently retired from University College Cork, Ireland, where he taught for 21 years, Colin retains strong academic ties with the Food Studies program at AUR as well as with the University of Gastronomic Sciences, Pollenzo. He is the author of Environment & Food (Routledge, 2012) and co-editor of three books, including Transdisciplinary Perspectives on Transitions to Sustainability (Routledge 2017). The same editorial team has recently produced a new manuscript, Building Metaphors for Transformative Change, which is currently under review and from which Colin will draw in delivering this lecture. Colin is now based in Portugal. 
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Rita Salvatore

Rita Salvatore is a Senior researcher with more than 20 years of experience in rural development.   She has been doing research on the role of tourism within Italian protected areas and rural contexts, with special attention to regional products and food.    She has developed a particular interest in the analysis and social planning of sustainable tourism paths, with a particular focus on participative processes and community development. Her most recent research project concerns “new generation agritourism” and the requalification of abandoned villages in fragile areas by young entrepreneurs. 
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Mary Ward

Mary Ward has taught English and writing for over 25 years. As Adjunct Professor of Food and Business Writing at AUR she brings to the AUR classroom an analytical and sociolinguistic approach to improving writing in various contexts. She also teaches professional writing skills for the MBA program at the LUISS University in Rome. Previously, she taught workshops on report writing to employees of FAO, WFP, and IFAD. Professor Ward has published textbooks with Pearson and Oxford University Press. Her research focuses on the impact of audio feedback on students’ writing. Her motto is: Be dedicated to curiosity.
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John Wilkinson

Member of the Graduate Programme: Agriculture, Society & Development, Rural Federal University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Top ranking researcher of the Brazilian National Research Council 
Has carried out research on a wide range of agrifood issues for major international organizations: FAO, FSC/UN, OECD, BID, ECLA, European Commission, Johns Hopkins University
Post-doctoral studies at Santa Cruz, University, California and University of Paris XIII
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