Runaway Spoon

Italy expected to name new U.S. ambassador

December 14, 2011

Italy's new ambassador to the United States will be Claudio Bisogniero, The Georgetown Dish has heard.

It is expected he will take up the post on Feb. 6, 2012 in Washington, D.C.

Bisogniero has served as the NATO deputy secretary general since October, 2007.

Bisogniero is not a stranger to D.C. or to America.   In 1992, he was posted at the Embassy of Italy in Washington, D.C. as First Counsellor for Economic and Commercial Affairs, with special focus also on financial issues, relations with IMF and World Bank, and defense industry co-operation.

He was  born in Rome, on July 2 1954.

He is married to Laura Denise Noce Benigni Olivieri.  They have a daughter and a son. Hobbies and personal interests include classical music, reading, sailing, flying. 

After graduating with a degree in political science from the University of Rome (1976), he completed his military service as an Officer in the Italian Army in 1976-77.

In September of 1981, he was posted to the Embassy of Italy in Beijing as First Secretary for Economic and Commercial Affairs with responsibility also for bilateral and multilateral development co-operation programs with China.

From 1984 to 1989, he served at the Permanent Mission of Italy to NATO in Brussels, with the rank of counsellor with primary focus on disarmament issues, HLTF, CDE, CFE. He also served as a delegate to the Senior Political Committee.

In 1989, he returned to Rome and was assigned to the Office of the Diplomatic Adviser to the President of the Republic, where he remained until 1992. In this task, he covered a wide range of international issues, both bilateral and multilateral, relevant to all aspects of the international activity of the Italian President.

In 1996 he was assigned to the Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations in New York, with primary responsibilities for political affairs and UN reform. During this period he served as a member of the Italian delegation in the UN Security Council in 1996 and as a member of the Italian delegations to the 50th, 51st, 52nd and 53rd UN General Assemblies.

In 1999, he returned to the home office at the Department of Personnel and later at the Office of the Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as direct collaborator to the Secretary General.

In February 2002 he was appointed deputy director general for Political Multilateral Affairs (Deputy Political Director), responsible for NATO, United Nations, G8, disarmament, OSCE, anti-terrorism and human rights issues.

In June 2005, he was named Director General for the Americas, with responsibility for the relations of Italy with the United States and Canada, as well as all the countries of Latin America.



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A tribute to a great man

December 12, 2011

Family, close friends and colleagues of the late Joe E. Robert Jr. will gather Wednesday for a special lunch in Georgetown to honor the remarkable life of a man who made the capital region and all he touched with his thoughtfulness so much better.

Mr. Robert, 59,  passed away last week after a long illness.  He founded Fight Night for children in D.C. and donated generously to many causes that benefitted children’s health and education.

“He was a great guy, very honorable,” said Franco Nuschese, principal owner of Cafe Milano and a friend of Mr. Robert.   “I hope he inspired a lot of people to do philanthropic work; he certainly was my inspiration. And he taught me that one doesn’t have to have a lot of money to do philanthropic work.”

The private gathering will be at Cafe Milano, which will be closed Wednesday for the lunch until 3 pm  (Dec. 14).


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Fingers are crossed & the dice rolls for a Vegas senatorial candidate

December 8, 2011

As Nevada goes, so goes the U.S. Senate.

Or at least that’s the view of some political prognosticators for 2013.  The Democrat who wants to be the senator who tips the scales is Congresswoman Shelley Berkley, who currently represents The Strip in Las Vegas and nearby towns.

As the electoral caldron heats up across the country, a group hosted a reception for Berkley Wednesday night in D.C. in high hopes that she’ll be successful in her bid for a Senate seat next year.  The supporters braved a stormy night to gather at the Colorado Avenue home of hostess and arts advocate Judith Terra.

The two-hour event also was hosted by Richard and Helane Goldstein, Robert Kinberg, Sharon Wilkes, Jay and Connie Krupin, Hilary Smith Kapner, the Hon. Richard and Lilo Shifter, and Jeffrey Snyder.  

Rep. Shelley Berkley, Judith Terra, Virginia E. Hayes Williams and her granddaughter Jessica (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Rep. Shelley Berkley, Judith Terra, Virginia E. Hayes Williams and her granddaughter Jessica

Answering a question from the audience about how her election might affect DC, she said she supports statehood for the District and has been working with DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton on that issue.

Berkley, who has served in the U.S. House since 1999, is seeking the seat of former Senate Republican John Ensign, who quit under a cloud of scandal.  The Las Vegas (Clark County) representative is running against Republican Dean Heller, who was appointed by the Nevada governor to the Senate vacancy created by Ensign’s resignation.

During her professional career, Berkley served as legal counsel for several Vegas casinos. The congresswoman is one of the supporters of the drive to regulate online gambling. 

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