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NIAF Leadership Meets Italian Officials in Rome **Niaf Hosts Media Networking Dinner & Luncheon for Regional Coordinators Throughout Italy**


Contact:   Elissa Ruffino (NIAF) 202/939-3106 or

A National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) delegation led by Chairman Frank J. Guarini traveled to Italy to meet with Italian public officials and attend the Foundation’s first media networking dinner in Rome, held October 27 at the St. Regis Grand Hotel.

Guarini was joined by Joseph R. Cerrell, NIAF president; Kenneth Ciongoli, NIAF vice chairman; Judge Dominic Massaro, NIAF board member; and Francesco Nicotra, NIAF regional vice president for Italy.

While in Rome, NIAF officials met with Hon. Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, president of the Republic of Italy; Pierferdinando Casini, president of the Chamber of Deputies; Gianfranco Fini, vice premier; Letizia Moratti, Italy’s Minister of Education and Culture.

They discussed with Italian officials and members of the media the fear of a possible marginalization of Italy in any reorganization of the U.N. Security Council. NIAF is working with the White House, the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Congress in seeking support for the Italian position.

The NIAF media networking dinner was chaired by Ambassador Boris Biancheri, former Italian ambassador to the U.S. and president of Agenzia ANSA, Italy’s premier news agency. He was joined by special guests: Marcello Pera, president of the Italian Senate; Melvin Sembler, U.S. ambassador to Italy; James Nicholson, U.S. ambassador to The Holy See; and Ambassador James Cregan, president, John Cabot University.

The dinner brought together journalists from the major Italian media outlets throughout Italy as well as U.S. media outlets in Rome. Journalists from as far south as Palermo, Sicily and as far north as Bologna traveled to the dinner. CNN, FOX Network, Reuters, Associated Press, RAI-TV, Il Messagero, Corriere della Sera and La Repubblica are some of the 165 news organizations that sent representatives to the event.

Chairman Guarini expressed his pride in the role NIAF has played over the last 30 years as a political, business and cultural link between Italy and the U.S. He highlighted NIAF’s involvement in the upcoming 200th anniversary of the birth of Constantino Brumidi, and the Foundation’s international law conference in Rome, which will be held in May 2005 with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Guarini also thanked Moschino parfums for their generous contribution of gift bags.

Prior to the NIAF media networking dinner, Francesco Nicotra, NIAF regional vice president in Italy, hosted a luncheon for the NIAF regional coordinators abroad. The coordinators represented the regions of Sicily, Basilicata, Lecce, Trentino Alto Adige, Abruzzo, Tuscany, Calabria, Umbria, and Emilia Romagna. Each regional coordinator discussed their regional initiatives for 2005. At the luncheon, Guarini stressed the importance of strengthening the bonds between Italy and the U.S. Cerrell addressed the need to encourage business initiatives between our two nations, and Ciongoli discussed initiating travel programs in each of the regions.