Advisory board | Casa Italiana Zerilli / Marimò

Advisory board

The Advisory Board of New York University's Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò supports the cultural activities of the Casa by the identification of cultural interests, the development of strategies for contact with the American and Italian cultural scene, and suggestions regarding financial support.

The members of the Board are prominent Italian and American personalities in the fields of culture, art, finance, and public service. Baroness Zerilli-Marimò was the Chairwoman of the Board from its inception until her death in 2015. Giorgio Spanu was elected Chairman on April 15, 2016.



Giorgio Spanu

Giorgio Spanu was born in Iglesias, Italy and currently lives in New York. After completing his studies at the University of Pisa in 1978, he moved to Paris where he held positions in marketing, software publishing & distribution. He was also the co-founder of IVAO, a company specializing in video images managed by computers. Since 1989, with his wife Nancy Olnick, he is the co-founder of the Olnick Spanu Collection focusing on Modern and Contemporary Italian Art, Murano glass, Ceramics, Design, and Art books. The activities of the Collection include the Olnick Spanu Art Program (OSAP), an annual art residency program for Italian artists in Garrison, NY, as well as the publication of books and production of films dedicated to contemporary Italian art, design, and architecture. He is a benefactor of several institutions including: Manitoga/The Russel Wright Design Center, Boscobel, Putnam History Museum, Garrison Institute, DIA Art Foundation, Scenic Hudson, LongHouse Reserve, National Audubon Society, The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), The Vignelli Center for Design Studies at Rochester Institute of Technology.



Massimo Soncini

Massimo Soncini, brother of Baroness Zerilli-Marimò, received a BA in Political Science from York University in Toronto and his MBA in finance from New York University. He began his professional career in the export department of Cucirini Cantoni Coats in Milano, and shortly thereafter moved over to the automobile industry, holding various positions with Alfa Romeo and with Fiat. Since 1974, he has worked for various organizations in the finance industry, gaining progressively greater responsibilities. Currently, he is an independent portfolio manager and a member of the boards and/or managing director of several startup companies.

Maria Chiara Zerilli

Maria Chiara Zerilli is the daughter of Baroness Zerilli-Marimò, and currently resides in Switzerland.



Alison Cornish

Prof. Alison Cornish is the Chair of the Department of Italian Studies at New York University. She joined the Italian Studies faculty at NYU first as Visiting Professor in Fall 2017 and then as Professor in Fall 2018.  She has a B.A. in English from the University of California, Berkeley, an M.A. in Medieval Studies from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. in Italian from Stanford University. Professor Cornish’s research interests are primarily in the fields of Medieval and Renaissance Italian Literature. Before coming to NYU, she taught in the Department of Italian at Yale University and in the Department of Romance Languages at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.  She has held a University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities Fellowship, a Harvard University Villa I Tatti Fellowship, and a Fulbright Grant to Italy.

Fabrizio Di Michele

Fabrizio Di Michele was appointed as Consul General of Italy in New York, covering the State of New York, the State of Connecticut and Bermuda in 2021. An Italian diplomat with 26 years of experience in the field of international relations, he was born in Palermo, graduated in Political Science from the University of Florence in 1992, and joined the Italian Foreign Service in 1995. From 1997 to 2000 he served at the Embassy of Italy in Kinshasa, (DRC), and from 2000 to 2004 he was posted at the Italian Embassy in Beijing (PRC). Between 2004 and 2007 he served at the Cabinet of the Foreign Minister, working with the succeeding Ministers in office. From 2007 to 2011 he was posted at the Permanent Mission of Italy at the European Union, dealing with EU relations with the Balkans and the Middle East. From 2011 to 2015, he worked as Chair of the Maghreb-Mashreq Working Group of the European External Action Service in Brussels. Upon returning to Rome, he served in the General Directorate for Political and Security Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the Italian Envoy for the International Coalition against ISIL and Syria – from 2015 to 2018 – and then as Head of the Directorate for the Russian Federation, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia - from 2018 to March 2021.

Andrew D. Hamilton

Andrew D. Hamilton was named the 16th president of New York University in March 2015. He most recently served as the vice chancellor of Oxford University, the university’s senior officer, after an academic career that took him from Princeton to the University of Pittsburgh, and then to Yale, where he was named provost. Throughout his time in academic leadership positions, he has maintained his scholarly work, including an active research laboratory, and will continue to do so at NYU. A distinguished chemist and a Fellow of the Royal Society, Dr. Hamilton’s scholarly work lies at the intersection of organic and biologic chemistry. He received his PhD from Cambridge University, his master’s degree from the University of British Columbia, and his undergraduate degree from Exeter University.

Maurizio Massari

Ambassador, career diplomat with over thirty years of experience, Maurizio Massari is the Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations in New York. He has also served as the Permanent Representative of Italy to the European Union (June 2016 – May 2021), and as Special Envoy of the Italian Foreign Minister for the Mediterranean and the Middle East (2012-2013). He holds a Master's Degree in International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University, a Fellowship's Certificate from the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs of Harvard University, and a Degree in Political Science from the Istituto Universitario Orientale in Naples.

Dean Antonio Merlo
Prof. Antonio Merlo is Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science. Born in Italy in 1963, he received a Laurea summa cum laude in economics and social sciences from Bocconi University in Milan in 1987. Merlo emigrated to the United States in 1988 and earned a PhD in economics from New York University in 1992. Between 1998 and 2000 he held a joint appointment in the Department of Economics and the Department of Politics at New York University. In 2000, he joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania, where he held the Lawrence R. Klein Chair of Economics and the Directorship of the Penn Institute for Economic Research (PIER) until 2014. He was also the chair of the economics department from 2009 to 2012. In 2014, Merlo joined Rice University as the George A. Peterkin Professor of Economics, the chair of the economics department, and the Founding Director of the Rice Initiative for the Study of Economics (RISE). From 2016 to 2019, he served as dean of the Rice University School of Social Sciences.

Mariangela Zappia

Mariangela Zappia is the Italian Ambassador to the United States of America. A career diplomat with over thirty-five years of experience, she is the first woman in her country to hold this position, as she was the first woman Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations in New York and to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). She has also been the first woman Diplomatic Advisor to the Italian Prime Minister and G7/G20 Sherpa. She holds a Master degree in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Florence and a Post-graduate degree in Diplomatic and International Relations from the same University. She has followed periodic high-level training courses on diplomatic practice and management at the Diplomatic Academy of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome.



Stefano Acunto

Stefano Acunto received both his B.A. and M.A. in classical philology from New York University. He is the president of CINN Worldwide, Inc. Currently, Mr. Acunto sits as a Trustee of the College of Mt. St. Vincent and La Scuola d'Italia, New York, as well as the Chairman of the Italian Academy Foundation and the Westchester Opera Society. Mr. Acunto is the author of Westchester County and the editor of Giobbi Representative Works.

Mica Bagnasco Hadar

Actress and author Mica Bagnasco Hadar is native Italian, and graduated at the Bottega Teatrale of Vittorio Gassman in Florence. She moved to Manhattan in the early eighties, taking part in over twenty-five off Broadway productions and focusing, over the past decade, on one-womea shows. With her husband, she heads the Richard & Mica Hadar Foundation, established in 1993, which supports young artists and scholars by providing academic scholarships, mentoring and career guidance.

Giovanni Bazoli

Giovanni Bazoli is an Italian banker. He is chairman of the supervisory board of Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo and chairman of financial company, Mittel. He was professor of Administrative Law and Public Law at the Università Cattolica in Milan until retiring from his university career in 2001.

Valentina Castellani

Valentina Castellani is an art dealer based in New York. She was born in Boston and raised in Turin. She graduated in Greek Archaeology and Art History and moved to London, where she began her career as a trainee at Sotheby's. She worked for many years as artistic director at the Gagosian gallery in New York.

Matilda Raffa Cuomo

Matilda Raffa Cuomo, former First Lady of the State of New York, graduated cum laude from St. John's University's Teachers College. As First Lady, she established the New York State Mentoring Program, which evolved into Mentoring USA, a national nonprofit organization. Mrs. Cuomo is the editor of and contributor to The Person who Changed my Life, a compilation of over 75 Prominent Americans recalling their mentors. Currently, Mrs. Cuomo is involved with several prominent non-profit organizations including the American Cancer Society, the Lupus Foundation, and the National Italian American Foundation.

Isabella del Frate Rayburn

Isabella del Frate was born in Rome, Italy and currently resides in New York, where she is an art advisor promoting Italian and European art in the US. She also serves as president of the Murray & Isabella Rayburn Foundation, Trustee of the Strang Cancer Prevention Center, and member of the boards of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Save Venice, Inc., and Teatro alla Scala Foundation, USA.

Patrizia di Carrobio

Patrizia di Carrobio is the author of two Italian style classics: Diamanti: Una Guida Personale (Diamonds: A Personal Guide) and Conoscere i Gioielli: Come Sceglierli e Portarli (Knowing Jewels: How to Choose and Wear Them). An international dealer of precious gems and vintage jewelry for more than 30 years, she began her career at Christie’s in New York in 1980, quickly becoming one of the firm’s senior gem appraisers, and eventually heading the Jewelry Department. She serves on the boards of the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas and the Limon Dance Organization. She also volunteers for Bottomless Closet, a non-profit group that provides training and professional attire to disadvantaged women for job interviews.

Marilena Citelli Francese

Marilena Citelli Francese holds a degree in archaeology and ancient literature and a diploma in interior architecture at the Camondo Museum in Paris. She has always been interested in the Italian artistic heritage and international relations and has organized many important events, exhibits and celebrations relating to Italian culture in different countries.

Katherine Duer LaGuardia

Katherine LaGuardia, M.D. is an Obstetrician/Gynecologist and Public Health physician with over 25 years of experience in the field of reproductive care and research, technology innovation, and non-profit program development. She is Chair of the Fiorello LaGuardia Foundation, and previously worked with the Rockefeller Foundation. Dr. LaGuardia formerly was Director of Women’s Health at Cornell from 1989-96 and Director of Clinical Affairs at Ortho McNeil Pharmaceuticals from 2001-10. In 2014, Dr. LaGuardia joined the de Blasio administration as a Special Advisor at the Dept. of Health & Mental Hygiene.

Frank J. Guarini

Frank J. Guarini represented New Jersey’s 14th Congressional District in the US House of Representatives for 7 terms beginning in 1978. He received his BA from Dartmouth and his JD and LLM degrees from New York University School of Law. He later pursued advanced studies at The Hague Academy of International Law in the Netherlands. In Congress, Mr. Guarini was a member of the Ways and Means and served on Taxation and Trade Committees and was involved in important initiatives including Free Trade Agreements with Canada, Israel, and Mexico, and Tokyo. He served on the Budget Committee and the chairman of the Task Force for Urgent Fiscal Issues. Currently he is chairman for John Cabot University in Rome.

Beatrice Holden Guthrie

For thirteen years, Beatrice Guthrie served as Director of Save Venice, Inc., an organization dedicated to the preservation of the art and architecture of Venice. She serves on the board of the Metropolitan Opera Guild, as an Advisory Director of the Metropolitan Opera Association, and was recently elected Vice Regent for the state of New York to George Washington's Mount Vernon.

Riccardo Kulczycki

Riccardo Giorgio Sas Kulczycki.  Born in Milan, on Feb. 17, 1950.  He spent seven years at the Real Collegio Carlo Alberto, in Moncalieri, near Torino.  At sixteen he left Italy for the U.S.A. to join the Choate School in Wallingford, Conn..  In 1968 he entered the Wharton School (Univ. of Pennsylvania) and received a BSE in 1972.  In 1974 he obtained a Master from the Grad. School of Business at the Univ. of Chicago (today Chicago Booth).  He joined the pharmaceutical company Ely Lilly, as Head of Financial Planning for Italy, Africa and the Middle East; his experience ranged also in Marketing Research. Subsequently he worked as free-lance in a Swiss consulting company for projects in Italy and the Middle East.  In the eighties he organized and was a founder of the Castelgandolfo Golf Club, near Rome, designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr.

Tao Kulczycki

Tao Kulczycki is an Italian artist currently based in New York. He obtained his MFA in Sculpture from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn (NY) in 2013 and his BFA in Arts, Performance and Digital Media from Kingston University (UK) in 2010. Kulczycki’s work can be summarized as a hybrid between the self, the surreal and the symbol reflecting present day life and our state of mind. His work involves modifying objects and their concepts.

Marylyn Malkin

Marylyn Malkin is the current President of the Women’s Committee at Lighthouse Guild, the leading not-for-profit vision and healthcare organization, with a long-standing heritage of addressing the needs of people who are blind or visually impaired, including those with multiple disabilities or chronic medical conditions.

Paolo M. Martino

Paolo Martino was born in Santa Ninfa Sicily and educated in Milan before moving to New York City in 1963. Here he continued his education, studying interior design at Parsons School of Design, and marketing, business, finance, and film at NYU. In 1968, he founded Paolo M., Inc., a full service salon specializing in hair coloring. He has also developed a full line of hair and skin care products under the label "PAOLO".

Antonio Monda

Antonio Monda was born in Velletri, Italy and currently resides in New York. He teaches in the Film and Television Department of NYU. He is the Director of the Rome Film Festival and writes for La Repubblica and has a column on the Italian edition of Vanity Fair. He has organized exhibitions for the Guggenheim, the Museum of Modern Art and Lincoln Center. Among his publications: "La Magnifica Illusione", "The Hidden God", "Do you Believe?" and the novel "Assoluzione". He is the co-founder and the artistic director of the Literary Festival "Le Conversazioni". He has directed the film "Dicembre", presented at the Venice Film Festival.

Federica Olivares

Federica Olivares received her degree in monetary policy from Milan State University and has studied economics in the US and international politics and economics at the Cini Foundation in Venice. She has been a management consultant for international consulting firms, and is the founder and CEO of the publishing house Edizioni Olivares. Ms. Olivares has served on various boards of commercial, publishing, and women's organizations, and since 1991, has been the president of the Fondation Européenne des Femmes.

Ennio Ranaboldo

Ennio Ranaboldo is the Head of Martin Bauer's business in North America. Martin Bauer is a Bavarian, world leading manufacturer of botanical ingredients for the food and beverage industries. He was the New York City-based CEO of Lavazza North America, for over seventeen years. Born in Turin, Italy, in 1961 and a graduate of the local university, he's married, a father of three children and lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He is also the author of a book on J.D. Salinger, published by Mursia in 1999. Ennio joined the Casa's Advisory Board in 2010.

Salvatore M. Salibello

Salvatore M. Salibello founded Salibello & Broder in 1978 and is the firm’s managing partner. Sal brings more than 40 years of knowledge and professional experience in public accounting to each of his engagements. Prior to founding Salibello & Broder, Sal spent 11 years with Big Four accounting firms where he specialized in providing distinct services to various types of organizations, particularly small businesses and middle market companies. Currently, he sits on the Board of Directors of three publicly traded closed-ended mutual funds for Gabelli Asset Management and Russ Berrie and Company, Inc. where he is the chairman of the audit committee. He has obtained the status of Cavaliere from the Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy and held several positions on the Board of Directors of the National Italian American Foundation, and he is currently their Executive V.P. He received his undergraduate degree from St. Francis College and received a Master of Business Administration degree from Long Island University.

Nicola Tegoni

Nicola Tegoni is a Member of the Immigration and Nationality Law Practice Group of the New York law firm Dunnington, Bartholow & Miller LLP. He holds a Juris Doctorate from Suffolk University Law School, Boston, Massachusetts, and is on the Boards of the Malta Study Center, the Italian American Committee on Education, the Lorenzo Da Ponte Italian Library, and the Managers of The Galleria Condominium. A Knight of Justice of the Order of Malta, he is Counsellor of the Permanent Observer Mission of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta to the United Nations and responsible for the planning and organization of the humanitarian, religious, and social activities for the Order of Malta in the New York City area.