Dr Roberto RIDOLFI

Dr Roberto Ridolfi, Ph.D. is seconded from the European Union to FAO in Rome as Special Adviser for Strategy and Financing Development, as of January 2018.

Dr Ridolfi was Director for Sustainable Growth and Development as well as Director for Planet and Prosperity at the Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO) of the European Commission (2013-2017).

He was instrumental in developing main policy innovations on the role of the private sector in development, the promotion of financial instruments and blending, notably in the areas of renewable energy and productive agriculture launching, inter alia, initiatives like ELECTRIFI and AGRIFI and, most notably though the conception and the start-up of the 44 Billion EUR European External Investment Plan and the European Fund for Sustainable Development.

Twice Ambassador, Head of Delegation of the European Union (EU), Dr Ridolfi first worked in Suva, Fiji, from 2005 to 2007, where he was in charge of relations of the EU with 15 Pacific countries and territories. In 2010, he was appointed by the High Representative for Foreign Policy of the EU in Uganda, where he served as Ambassador for the EU until September 2013.

From 2008 to 2010, as Head of the Global Thematic Programmes of the European Commission, at EuropeAid, he managed worldwide programmes dealing with agriculture and rural development, environment and climate change, food security, human development, migration and asylum, renewable energies, as well as the One-Billion-Euro Food Facility in 50 countries.

Dr Ridolfi joined the EU in 1994 and worked in several countries beyond the Pacific and Uganda: Malawi, Namibia and Kosovo as development and economic adviser. Throughout accession negotiations (2001-2004), he was the principal coordinator dealing with environment and transport, and was also in charge of Public-Private-Partnerships on which he is a key note speaker and writer.

Instrumental to his drive in the private sector are his working experiences in the private sector before joining the Commission. These experiences, which were mainly in strategic management, finance and marketing engineering, were coupled with lecturing and (later on) with roles as Associate Professor at various universities in Italy and abroad.

Dr Ridolfi holds a M.Sc. in Engineering, an MBA and a Ph.D. in A. Technology.