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40+ Celebrities and Public Figures Join NIAF to Honor Dr. Anthony S. Fauci


Natalie Wulderk

At NIAF’s Virtual 45th Anniversary Gala | Saturday, October 31, 2020

(Washington, D.C. – October 29, 2020) More than 40 celebrities and public figures will join the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) in celebrating NIAF’s virtual 45th Anniversary Gala and honoring Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on Saturday, October 31, 2020. Dr. Fauci will be presented NIAF’s 2020 Leonardo da Vinci Award for Leadership in Health and Science live during the Gala.

“We aim for NIAF’s Gala to convey our deep gratitude to Dr. Fauci,” said NIAF Chairman The Honorable Patricia de Stacy Harrison. “The dozens of public figures and leaders from the United States and Italy participating in this special evening, along with the thousands registered to attend, will be a testament to our appreciation for his leadership.”

Throughout this NIAF Gala evening, special appearances from “friends of Dr. Fauci” will include stars from music, theater, television and film: Al Pacino, Alan Alda, Andrea Bocelli, Anjelica Huston, Anthony and Joseph Russo, Babyface, Bono, Connie Francis, Dick Vermeil, Dionne Warwick, Francis Ford Coppola, Frankie Valli, Giuliana DePandi-Rancic, Isabella Rossellini, Joe Mantegna, John Turturro, Judge Greg Mathis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Lidia Bastianich, Marisa Tomei, Martin Scorsese, Mary Ann Esposito, Michael Douglas, Neil Sedaka, Patti LuPone, Robert De Niro, The Sicilian Tenors, Tony Bennett, and more; along with stars from the sports arena such as Dick Vermeil, Franco Harris, Mario Andretti and Mike Piazza; as well as public figures from business, government, journalism and civic life: Italian Ambassador Armando Varricchio, U.S. Ambassador Lewis M. Eisenberg, Bret Baier, Franco Nuschese, Leon Panetta, John Paul DeJoria, Jonathan Karl, Massimo Ferragamo, Sharon Rockefeller, along with other surprise guests.

“While COVID is keeping most of us at home these days, people like Dr. Anthony Fauci go to work each morning with one goal: to see our nation through the most devastating pandemic in a century,” said Leonardo DiCaprio, Academy Award winning actor. “I am glad that the National Italian American Foundation is honoring his lifetime of commitment to public service during their 45th Anniversary Virtual Gala. We are fortunate to have Dr. Fauci’s leadership and guidance during these historically challenging times.”

NIAF is the nation’s premier Italian American organization serving as a bridge between the United States and Italy, strengthening mutual understanding through governmental, economic and cultural ties. Education is the core of our mission as we provide scholarships and grants to institutions and high achieving students to further their education in all fields and connect to their heritage.

Registration for the public to attend the Gala closed on October 28. For details, visit:

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to preserving, promoting, and protecting the Italian American heritage and culture. To learn more about the Foundation and become a member, please visit