The Foundation

The Foundation

The Med-Or Foundation was created by leading aerospace, security and defence company Leonardo in the spring of 2021. The Foundation seeks to promote cultural initiatives, research and education in science, with the goal to strengthen links, exchanges and international relations between Italy and countries in the Med-Or area, which spans the Mediterranean, the Sahel, the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea, as well as the Near and Far East.

The Med-Or Foundation is an innovative, global and collaborative initiative seeking to combine the skills and capabilities of industry and academia for the development of geo-economic and socio-cultural partnerships. The Foundation collaborates with experts and professionals with longstanding national and international experience in the institutional, industrial and academic fields.

Statute of Med-Or Foundation


Med-Or shares and embraces the values of its founding partner Leonardo. The Foundation’s work therefore abides and is inspired by the principles of ethics and respect, competence and merit, innovation and excellence, internationality and multiculturalism, rights and sustainability.

International board

Carmelo Abela

Malta’s Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister (2020-2022); Malta’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion (2017-2020); Malta's Minister for Home Affairs and National Security (2014-2017)

Prince Turki Al-Faisal

Chairman of King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies; Former Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to UK and USA; Former Director of Saudi Arabia General Intelligence Directorate

Ebtesam Al-Ketbi

President and Founder of the Emirates Policy Center; Professor of Political Science at the United Arab Emirates University; Member of the Consultative Commission of the Gulf Cooperation Council

Khalid Al-Khater

Director of Policy and Planning Department at the Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Mohamed Ali Guyo

IGAD Special Envoy for the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Somalia

Dīmītrīs Avramopoulos

European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs, and Citizenship (2014-2019); Greece’s Minister for National Defence (2013-2014); Greece’s Minister for Foreign Affairs (2012-2013); Mayor of Athens (1995-2002)

Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa

Advisor of the King of Bahrain for Diplomatic Affairs; Bahrain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs (2005-2020)

Abdallah Bou Habib

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants of Lebanon

Thomas De Maizière

Germany’s Federal Minister of the Interior (2013-2018); Germany’s Federal Minister of Defense (2011-2013)

Said Djinnit

Special Envoy of the United Nations for the Great Lakes Region (2014-2019); Special Representative of the United Nations for West Africa (2008-2014); Commissioner for Peace and Security at the African Union (2003-2008)

Karim El Aynaoui

President of the Policy Center for the New South; Vice-President of the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University

Sigmar Gabriel

Germany’s Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs (2017-2018); Germany’s Vice-chancellor (2013-2018)

Frederic Gateretse-Ngoga

Ambassador, Office of the African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security

Kamel Ghribi

Chairman of GKSD Investment Holding Group; Chairman of GK Investment Holding Group; Vice President of the San Donato Hospital Group Italy

Alia Hatoug-Bouran

Senator of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; Former Minister of Culture and Ambassador to the USA 2010-2016; President of PAM 2019-2020

Gilles Kepel

Special Envoy of President Emmanuel Macron for the Mediterranean; Political scientist and Arabist

Alì Abukar Hayo

Special Envoy of the President of Somalia to Italy; Full Professor of Criminal Law at Università di Roma "Unicusano"

Bernardino Léon

Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (2014-2015); Former Director General of the Emirates Diplomatic Academy

David Meidan

Former Prominent Israeli Government Official, serving as personal representative of Prime Minister Netanyahu in the negotiations for the release of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit

Salim Mokaddem

Advisor to the President of Niger

Mayamba Cindy Mwanawasa

Policy Advisor to the President of the Republic of Zambia

John Negroponte

United States Deputy Secretary of State (2007-2009); Director of National Intelligence (2005-2007); United States Ambassador to the United Nations (2001-2004); United States Deputy National Security Advisor (1987-1989); Professor at the Miller Center for Public Affairs at the University of Virginia

Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah

Former Mauritania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation; Special Envoy of the United Nations for Somalia (2007-2010)

Çağatay Özdemir

Deputy Director of the Presidential Communications of the Republic of Turkey

Ana Palacio

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Spain; Former Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the World Bank Group; Former Member of Spain’s Council of State (Consejo de Estado); Visiting Professor, Georgetown University

Rachid Mohamed Rachid

Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Trade and Industry (2004-2011); Chairman of Maison Valentino S.p.A. and Balmain; Chief Executive Officer of Mayhoola for Investments LLC

Radmila Šekerinska

Former Deputy Prime Minister of North Macedonia (2002-2006, 2017-2020); Former Minister of Defense of North Macedonia (2017-2022); Former President of the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (2006-2008)

Bahija Simou

Director of Morocco’s Archives Royales

Sir Alex Younger

Former Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service of the UK government


Legal and Corporate Affairs

Institutional relations

International relations



Scientific committee

Franco Anelli

Rector of Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore; Full Professor of Private Law.

Gabriella Arrigo

Director of International Affairs at the Italian Space Agency. Scientific Director of the Master in Space Institutions and Policies at SIOI, where she has been teaching International Space Policies and Relations since 2009.

Giorgio Barba Navaretti

Full Professor of Political Economics at the University of Milan and Distinguished Visiting Faculty at SciencesPo in Paris.

Massimo Bergami

Full Professor of Business Organization at "Alma Mater Studiorum" University of Bologna and Dean of Bologna Business School; member of the Board of Trustees of the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) and of the Board of Directors of Ferrarelle spa.

Giovanni Betta

Full Professor of Electrical and Electronic Measurements; former Rector of the University of Cassino and Southern Lazio.

Francesco Bonini

Rector of LUMSA University; Full Professor of History of Political Institutions.

Stefano Bronzini

Rector of the University of Bari "Aldo Moro"; Full Professor of English Literature.

Raffaele Calabrò

Full Professor of Cardiology; former Rector of the University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome

Lucio Caracciolo

Director of Limes; journalist and political scientist, he taught Strategic Studies at LUISS Guido Carli.

Carlogiovanni Cereti

Full Professor of Philology, Religions, and History of Iran.

Francesco Cupertino

Rector of Polytechnic University of Bari; Full Professor of Converters, electrical machines and drives.

Melina Decaro

Professor of Comparative Public Law at LUISS Guido Carli. Former Deputy Secretary General and Director of the General Secretariat's Office of the Presidency of the Republic.

Flavio Deflorian

Rector of the University of Trento; Full Professor in the disciplinary scientific field "Science and technologies of materials".

Massimiliano Fiorucci

Rector of University of Roma Tre; Full Professor of Social and Intercultural Pedagogy.

Ersilia Francesca

Associate Professor (national habilitation as Full Professor) of History of Islamic Countries at the University of Naples "L'Orientale".

Emilia Fiandra

Director of the Department of Political Science of the University of Roma Tre; Full Professor of Language Culture and Institutions of German-speaking countries.

Vincenzo Loia

Rector of the University of Salerno; Full Professor of Computer Science.

Tiziana Lippiello

Rector of Ca’ Foscari University of Venice; Full Professor of Classical Chinese, Religions and Philosophy of China at the Department of Asian and North African Studies

Eugenio Guglielmelli

Rector of the University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome; Full Professor of Industrial Bioengineering.

Matteo Lorito

Rector of the University of Naples "Federico II"; Full Professor of Plant Pathology and Phytopathology.

Raffaele Marchetti

Prorector for Internationalization at LUISS Guido Carli; Full Professor of International Relations.

Alessia Melcangi

Associate Professor of Contemporary History of North Africa and the Middle East at "La Sapienza" University of Rome; Non-resident Senior Fellow at the Rafiki Hariri Center for the Middle East, at the Atlantic Council of Washington D.C.

Karim Mezran

Senior Fellow at Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, Atlantic Council; Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

Antonello Miranda

Delegate to assist the Prorector for Internationalization in relations with international political and diplomatic institutions at University of Palermo; Full Professor of Comparative Private Law and of the EU.

Leopoldo Nuti

Full Professor of History of International Relations at Roma Tre University.

Maurizio Oliviero

Rector of the University of Perugia; Full Professor of Comparative Public Law.

Paolo Passaglia

Full Professor of Comparative Public Law at the University of Pisa and pro tempore scientific coordinator of the Area of Comparative Law of the Constitutional Court's Research Department.

Alessandra Petrucci

Rector of the University of Florence; Full Professor of Social Statistics.

Antonella Polimeni

Rector of "La Sapienza" University of Rome; Full Professor in the disciplinary scientific field "Odontostomatologic diseases".

Andrea Prencipe

Rector of LUISS Guido Carli of Rome; Full Professor of Organization and Innovation.

Riccardo Redaelli

Full Professor of Geopolitics and History and Institutions of Asia and Director of the Center of Research on the Southern System and the Wider Mediterranean (CRiSSMA) at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore; President of the Italian Society of International History (SISI).

Ferruccio Resta

Rector of Politecnico di Milano; Full Professor of Mechanics of Machines.

Flaminia Saccà

Full Professor of Sociology of Political Phenomena and President of the Degree Course in Political Science and International Relations at the University of Tuscia; President of the International Sociological Association (ISA) Research Committee Sociotechnics - Sociological Practices RC26.

Ciro Sbailò

Dean of the Faculty of Political Sciences and Psycho-Social Dynamics at the University of International Studies of Rome (UNINT); Full Professor of Comparative Public Law.

Giancarlo Scalese

Full Professor of International Law at the University of Cassino and Southern Lazio.

Roberto Tottoli

Rector of the University of Naples "L'Orientale"; Full Professor of History of Islamic Countries.

Francesco Ubertini

Full Professor of Structural Mechanics; former Rector of "Alma Mater Studiorum" University of Bologna.

Arturo Varvelli

Head of the Rome Office of European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR).

Stefano Ubertini

Rector of Università degli Studi della Tuscia; Full Professor of Machines and Systems for Energy and Environment.

Arianna Vedaschi

Full Professor of Comparative Public Law at Bocconi University of Milan.

Lorenzo Vidino

Director of the Extremism Program of George Washington University; expert on Islamism in Europe and North America.

Ida Zilio Grandi

Associate Professor of Arabic Language and Literature, Islamology, International Relations and Politics at "Ca' Foscari" University of Venice.