NIAF Vice Chair Elected Chairman ** Dr. A. Kenneth Ciongoli To Lead NIAF Board of Directors**


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

(Washington, DC – March 14, 2005) Dr. A. Kenneth Ciongoli has been elected chairman of the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) for a four-year term (2005-2009) during the Foundation’s board meeting held March 11 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. Dr. Ciongoli joined the NIAF board in 1990 and has served as president (1996-1999) and vice chairman (1999-2005). He succeeds Frank J. Guarini, former U.S. Congressman from New Jersey, who will serve as Chairman Emeritus.

During his tenure at NIAF, Dr. Ciongoli established the Gay Talese Writers Series for prominent Italian American authors at the University of Pennsylvania. He also has led delegations of business leaders on missions to Sicily and Argentina to foster greater tourism and trade initiatives between the U.S. and abroad.

Active in his community, Dr. Ciongoli is a founding member of the Vermont Italian Colonial Association (VICA), a member of The Mutuo Soccorso, the oldest Italian American organization in Vermont, and a past member of the Board of Governors of the Ethan Allen Club, the oldest continuous club in North America.

He is the author of 35 published articles and abstracts, medical and non-medical, as well as three books: “Beyond the Godfather;” “Let Me In;” and “Passage to Liberty.” He has appeared on several TV shows including McLaughlin’s One on One and The Dennis Wholly Show. He is listed in “Who’s Who in American Medicine,” “ Who’s Who in America” and “Who’s Who in the World.”

A prominent neurologist, Dr. Ciongoli is also president of the Neurological Associates of Vermont and clinical associate professor of neurology at the University of Vermont College of Medicine (UVM).

Dr. Ciongoli is joined on the board by three vice chairmen: Joseph R. Cerrell, veteran political consultant and chairman of Cerrell Associates Inc.; Jerry Colangelo, CEO and chairman of the Phoenix Suns; and Vincent Viola, New York City financier and senior strategic advisor at the New York Mercantile Exchange. Salvatore Zizza, New York City businessman, was elected president.

NIAF is a non-profit, non-partisan foundation dedicated to promoting the contributions of Italian Americans. The NIAF serves as a voice for the Italian American community and a clearing house of information on every aspect of that community. The Foundation has a wide-range of programs that provide scholarships and grants, conferences and cultural seminars. Visit