KEYNOTE: Marina Catena

KEYNOTE: Marina Catena

Director, UN World Food Programme France

KEYNOTE: Marina Catena

Marina Catena is the Director of the United Nations World Food Programme for France and Principality of Monaco (Paris).

She attended the United World College of the Adriatic in Duino and graduated from the Political Science Faculty at Libera Universita’ Internazionale degli studi sociali (LUISS). In 1992, she started her career at the European Commission (Brussels) where she worked for the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs at ECHO and launched several advocacy campaigns on humanitarian issues (de-mining, refugees and children in conflicts) such as the globally acclaimed “A Flower for the Women of Kabul” in favour of the women’s empowerment in Afghanistan.

Since then she has been appointed advisor and worked with a number of praiseworthy projects and people, such as the United Nations Peace Keeping Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). She managed the relations with the war thorn Kosovo society and launched a number of reconciliation campaigns and projects in favour of women as actors of peace and reconstruction. This experience inspired her to publish her book entitled: The train in Kosovo Polje (SELLERIO).

Also, in October 2003, she left for Baghdad were she was appointed Advisor to the Italian Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to Iraq and worked with the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority (Baghdad) on projects devoted to education and women’s empowerment.

In 2005, she became a Lieutenant of the Italian Army (Specialized Reserve). This followed by her, in May 2007, being appointed Political Advisor to UNIFIL Commander (Tibnine) in Lebanon (Paratroopers Brigade “Folgore”). A unique experience which motivated her to publish her new book entitled: “A woman, A soldier” (RIZZOLI).

In May 2009, she was appointed Special Advisor to the Italian Prime Minister for the organisation of the G8 Summit in L’Aquila, in charge of the G8 First Ladies programme and the promotion of reconstruction of the earthquake-hit Abruzzo Region.

In September 2009, Marina was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Merite by French President Nicolas Sarkozy in recognition of her merit and international achievements. In December 2012, Marina received the prestigious “Cercle Richelieu Senghor” award for her commitment to the promotion of the French language as a vector of international peace and solidarity.