Public Policy Overview

NIAF serves as an important voice for Italian Americans in Washington, DC. The Foundation works closely with Congress, The White House, the Department of State, the U.S. Embassy in Rome, and the Italian Embassy in Washington to promote Italian American heritage and serve as a bipartisan educational foundation. As a unified voice on issues of importance to Italian Americans, the Foundation builds relationships with key decision makers on behalf of the Italian American community and serves as a resource and thought leader for politicians, policy makers, and diplomats.

NIAF works closely with the Italian American Congressional Delegation (IACD), a bi-cameral, bi-partisan delegation composed of Members of Congress who trace their ancestry to Italy and associate Members of Congress who support the Italian American community. The delegation is co-chaired by Congressman Bill Pascrell Jr. of New Jersey and Congressman Pat Tiberi of Ohio. NIAF hosts a number of events with the IACD, including a welcome reception for new and returning members of the delegation every new Congress.

The signature NIAF Public Policy program is the Frank J. Guarini Public Policy Forum. The forum assembles nationally and internationally renowned policy and thought leaders to address vital issues including the economy, foreign policy, civil liberties, healthcare, global terrorism, Social Security, and education. The forums are typically held on Capitol Hill with the cooperation of the IACD and its co-chairmen. Keynote speakers come from multiple fields and both sides of the aisle. The program was endowed by the Honorable Frank J. Guarini, former Member of Congress from New Jersey and NIAF Chairman Emeritus.

NIAF also hosts an Annual Congressional Bocce Ball Tournament with Congressmen Pat Tiberi and Bill Pascrell. The event brings together the Washington Italian American community and members of Congress to socialize and compete in a traditional Italian sporting game.

Beyond these flagship events, NIAF engages with policy makers in a number of other ways. Small dinners with decision makers, political receptions, and a growing network of Italian American Congressional staffers all serve to tie NIAF, its members, and the Italian American community at large to the political and diplomatic heart of Washington.