Giancarlo Elia Valori was born in the province of Venice on January 27, 1940, but he has been living in Rome for long time. He has a degree in economics and business administration, as well as a degree in political science. After attending management specialization courses, as well as specific internship and economic and financial master courses in the United States of America, he became assistant professor at the Institute for Economic Research of the Denver University, one of the most prestigious private universities in Colorado.
After an intense teaching activity as professor of tax law and law in the Universities of Naples and Bologna, respectively, as well as in other major universities of economics and international relations, including the "Schiller College - An American University in Europe" in Paris, the "Salvador" in Buenos Aires and "La Sapienza University" in Rome, he carried out a fruitful and intensive advisory and consultancy activity.
Said activity was performed at first at the Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers, in the first government led by Aldo Moro from July 22, 1964 to February 23, 1966 with the political coalition including the Christian Democrats (DC), the Socialists (PSI), the Social-Democrats (PSDI) and the Republicans (PRI). Subsequently said activity was performed through targeted economic planning projects, with the Budget Ministers Luigi Pieraccini and Giovanni Preti, as well as with "La Compagnie Financière Conseil" of Edmond Rothschild in Paris, with the International Monetary Fund in Washington - for specific studies on the exchange rate issues and the reform of the international monetary system - and with the General Secretariat of ECLAC (the United Nations’ Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean).
Thanks to his versatility as internationally-renowned manager, professor and economist, he is unanimously considered by the national public as a key point of reference for the "privatization of large companies": indeed, he successfully completed the privatization of SME - Società Meridionale Finanziaria and the Autostrade Group.
His vocation to tackle and solve complex problems is one of the most important feature of the activity carried out by Professor Valori at the service of his country, to the point that he is considered one of the most representative personalities in the great European motorway sector.
Indeed, only few people do not know Professor Giancarlo Elia Valori and his long career as leader of many companies and organizations: the Autostrade Group, Sirti Internazionale, Italstrade, SME - Società Meridionale Finanziaria, GS - Società Generali Supermercati, Italstrade, IGI – Istituto Grandi Infrastrutture, Blu (a mobile phone operator), Unione Industriali di Roma (Rome’s Union of Entrepreneurs), Confindustria Lazio (The Latium Region section of the Italian Entrepreneurs’ Association), Torno Internazionale, Autovie Venete, Milano-Mare and Milano Tangenziali, Sviluppo Lazio, AISCAT (the Italian Association of Toll Motorways and Tunnels). The French members also appointed him in Strasbourg as honorary President of the prestigious association ASECAP (Association européenne des concessionaries d’autoroutes et d'ouvrages à péage).
As staunch supporter of the creation of modern rail and motorway axes, he has contributed concretely to the operation of the Kiev-Odessa motorway. This infrastructure, which strengthens the strategy of Europe’s opening to the East, is meant to be the core of connections between "Corridor 5" and "Corridor 9" in the Baltic region and the area surrounding the Black Sea.
He currently chairs La Centrale Finanziaria Generale S.p.A., the Fondazione Laboratorio per la Pubblica Amministrazione, the Italian Delegation of the Abertis Foundation and Huawei Technologies Italy (a telecommunication giant).
It is also vice-President of the prestigious Weizmann Institute in Paris, both member of the Ayan-Holding Board and the Advisory Board School of the Business Administration College of Management in Israel, Economic Adviser to the HNA Group (the Chinese Group which is world leader of integrated services in tourism, transport, logistics, business and finance) and Director of the Advisory Committee of the historical-technical Journal "Conservation Science in Cultural Heritage".
Former Professor of "Communication Sciences in International Relations" at the Faculty of Philosophy and Arts of the Free University Maria SS. Assunta in Rome, he is currently Professor of Economics and International Affairs at the Peking University, one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in China, where the future leaders are trained.
Despite his many burdensome "tasks", he plays his managerial role tirelessly, without relinquishing his meritorious "missions" in many cultural and social areas at world level. He holds important Chairs in prestigious Universities: the Yeshiva University in New York (Chairman of the Chair of Peace in the Italian Jewish political thinking at the Faculty of Political Science), the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Chairman of the Chair for Peace and International Cooperation Studies), the Peking University (Chairman of the Chair of Peace, Security and International Development at the Faculty of International Relations).
In the Peking and Jerusalem Universities he also chairs the "Euro-China Centre", an appreciated organization which contributes to develop ever more fruitful exchanges between countries of different cultures. In Jerusalem he holds the position of Director of a specific degree course in the Faculty of Law, open to both Jewish and Arab students.
Over the years he has delivered particularly interesting lectures on international political and economic issues in the most important international universities, which have been highly appreciated both by faculty members and students. In those universities he has received many significant awards and honorary degrees.
In this regard, we must recall the “special" lecture on the topic "China in the Mediterranean geo-economic and geopolitical region" he delivered on the occasion of his appointment as "numerary member" of Barcelona’s "Royal Academy of Economics and Finance" (one of the most important cosmopolitan universities of economics and business administration). With his usual eloquence and unquestioned ability of analysis, he outlined the gradual economic expansion of the Asian giant – a topical issue which has proved to be particularly important for the Catalan University led by Professor Jaume Gil Aluja.
The outstanding commitment shown in the many sensitive posts he held during his long and brilliant career has aroused admiration and respect also abroad: as ambassador of the Italian culture and entrepreneurship he has made Italy well-known everywhere in the world, by receiving unanimous appreciation and significant awards in Europe, Asia and the Americas.
As supporter of non-violence, he has been at the forefront in strenuously supporting and defending human life and peace among peoples, without any pre-conceived ideas and with an admirable commitment to solidarity and brotherhood. In this regard, at the European Conference of Rabbis held in Prague on June 29, 1999, he received the "Sir Moses Montefiore prize," the greatest international award of the Jewish world bestowed by the World Centre of Religious Services for the Diaspora, with the following motivation: "For the dedication to the Jewish people, in general, and to the Italian Jewish community, in particular, shown by means of the strong and tenacious activity performed also in the Jerusalem University."
The friendship binding Professor Giancarlo Elia Valori to Israel is well-known to everybody: one of the most symbolic moment of this close relationship, publicly shown and expressed over the years, can be identified in the opening of the "Ben Gurion Centre" at the Peking University on March 3, 1993. On the occasion of that historic event, the then Israeli Minister for Foreign Affairs and his personal friend, Shimon Peres, stated: "Giancarlo Elia Valori has built a sound and significant bridge between Israel and China – an achievement which could have not been reached without his far-sightedness and dedication". During his first official event as Prime Minister, after the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres again publicly declared: "Professor Valori is the representative of a long Italian tradition characterized by tolerance towards other individuals and other peoples, a tradition of individuals who wanted to tie their positions to the destiny of our people".
Among the many awards received, we must mention – in particular - the title of “Honorable” he was awarded on February 18, 2002 "for his unique and invaluable commitment and for the actions taken in favour of the “Académie des Sciences de l’Institut de France." Later on he was appointed "Honorary Chairman" of this same International Foundation. The title of "Honorable" is not just a "truly extraordinary honour" created exceptionally for him, but is mainly a "title for life" equal to the rank of "Immortel", inherent to every member of the Institut de France, to which the Académie des Sciences, founded in 1666 by Jean-Baptiste Colbert, belongs.
Furthermore, Professor Valori is the first and only Italian to boast a title which, over three centuries ago, was awarded to Cardinal Jules Mazarin. With a view to underlining this affinity, on the occasion of the celebrations for the fourth centenary of the birth of Cardinal Mazarin, the municipality of Pescina, in which this illustrious personage was born, awarded him the honorary citizenship.
Few people know that the "Légion d’Honneur" (Legion of Honour) that the then French President, François Mitterrand, awarded to Professor Valori is a title "earned on the field": in 1988 he succeeded in securing the release of three Jews, seized in Lebanon three years before by the Islamic group called "Organisation de la Justice Révolutionnaire". Professor Valori was asked by some influential “international” friends to intercede with the then President of North Korea, Kim Il Sung, he had known in China in 1975 during the opening of the representative office of RAI, the Italian broadcasting corporation – so as to obtain the release of those hostages. Following the request made by his friend Valori, the North Korean leader asked the Iranian government to exert its influence on the kidnappers and, on May 5, 1988, Jean Paul Kauffmann, a French television journalist, Marcel Fontaine and Marcel Carton, working for the same broadcasting company, were finally released. Only ten years later after the lifting of the State secret, was it learned that the release had been possible thanks to the intervention of an authoritative and influential Italian citizen.
It is particularly important to recall what the then French ambassador to Rome said, while bestowing on him the insignia of Chevalier (Knight) of the Legion of Honour for special merits on behalf of President Mitterand: "Professor Valori is a man who looks beyond national borders to understand the world. But he is also a true European who does not forget that Europe is his own country and that the future of all of us can be built and rely on the development of each and everyone of us ... "
Highly respected in France, following the award of "Officier de la Légion d’Honneur" bestowed on him, Giancarlo Elia Valori is now part of a very restricted elite of particularly authoritative personalities in France. Many other countries, however, have decided to consider him as one of the most respected and admired men, by conferring great and significant awards on him. This list of countries also include his own native country, Italy, which awarded him the greatest honours of Knight Grand Cross and Knight of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.
A life spent at the top of large private and public companies has not prevented him from working with great dedication also in the cultural field – a commitment for which he was appointed by UNESCO as "Goodwill Ambassador" so as to reward his efforts in disseminating and promoting knowledge in its noblest meaning.
In addition to the essays written on personages such as "Il gigante David – Ben Gurion tra mito e realtà” (David the Giant - Ben Gurion between Myth and Reality") or on topical issues such as "La pace difficile – Angosce e speranze in Medio Oriente (The difficult Peace - Anxieties and Hopes in the Middle East), his many appreciated books - including “Geopolitica dello spazio” (Space Geopolitics) enriched by the forewords of the Israeli President, Shimon Peres, and President Emeritus of the Italian Republic, Francesco Cossiga - have provided valuable food for thought and a significant contribution to the debate in conferences and workshops, particularly on united Europe.
Great interest has been aroused by his books: "La via della Cina – Passato, presente e futuro di un gigante della storia” (The Way of China - Past, Present and Future of a History Giant), published by Rizzoli; "Il Risorgimento oltre la storia” (The Risorgimento beyond History), written on the occasion of the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of Italy’s Unification; "Anti-Semitismo. Olocausto. Negazione. – La grande sfida del mondo ebraico nel XXI secolo” (Anti-semitism. Holocaust. Negationism - The Great Challenge of the Jewish World in the twenty-first Century), published by Mondadori; “I giusti in tempi ingiusti” (the Just in unjust Times), published by Rizzoli; "Il futuro è già qui – Gli scenari che determineranno le vicende del nostro pianeta (The Future is already here - The Scenarios which will determine the History of our Planet), published by Rizzoli; "Mediterraneo tra pace e terrorismo” (The Mediterranean between Peace and Terrorism), published by Rizzoli and enriched by the forewords of the President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres, the President Emeritus of the Republic of Malta, Guido De Marco, and the editorialist Stefano Folli.
His recent works have been particularly appreciated at international level. The most recent one, “Petrolio – La nuova geopolitica del potere” (Oil - The new Power Geopolitics) has been written masterfully to provide a clearer idea of what is really happening in the Mediterranean. This concept, in the light of new socio-cultural knowledge, has been developed by encompassing other more global and important aspects of people's lives. Also his previous works, "Geopolitica del cibo” (Food Geopolitics) and "Geopolitica dell’Acqua” (Water goes global) – must be seen in this light. Together with his latest book “Geopolitica della salute” (Health Geopolitics), they are to be considered a whole, which provides food for though and opens up new scenarios on crucial aspects for people’s lives and wellbeing.
This latest book is intended to highlight the metaphors of life: health, diseases and their geographical and political distribution, treatments, drugs and medications, as well as the relationship between traditional medicine and the most modern techniques and technologies, with a view to making readers also know - despite the complexity of the joint geopolitical situations connected with an increasingly globalized world - the causes and effects on some symptoms or severe diseases which are tragically and quickly spreading, thus threatening mankind.
In particular, "Geopolitica dell’acqua – La corsa all’oro del nuovo millennio “ (Water goes global - The Gold Rush of the New Millennium), published by Rizzoli and enriched by Antonio Maccanico’s foreword, is a book prompted by a conversation with the President Emeritus of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres, which provides a clear and complete outline of the water concept trends, developed within the system of capitalist values and the consideration of the social "impact" that this important asset has on mankind, not only physically and materially, considering that a litre of this "gold" weighs more than one litre of oil.
Also his new works have been particularly appreciated: "Raimondo di Sangro – Il Principe di Sansevero e la magia dell’Illuminismo” (Raimondo di Sangro - The Prince of Sansevero and the Magic of the Enlightenment), written to commemorate this illustrious personage who has much contributed to the national culture and to spreading the values of the Enlightenment; “Intelligence e Geopolitica – Riflessioni in libertà” ("Intelligence and Geopolitics – Some considerations”), with a special dedication to his late friends, Francesco Cossiga and Fulvio Martini. It is a very special book, which was missing on Italy’s publishing scene, because it grasps an essential point: intelligence is a fundamental tool for designing, managing and developing foreign policy, all the more so considering the current chaotic situation in which we are living at all levels, particularly in the Mediterranean region.
He received many awards, which bear witness to his versatile and multi-faceted commitment as internationally renowned scholar and journalist, including: the journalism prize "Ischia Mediterraneo" (of which he was later President of the jury), for having enhanced the Mediterranean region with brilliant and original analyses on geopolitical and geo-economic relations; the prize for international relations "Bancarella per le Relazioni Internazionali”; the "International Prize of Culture" awarded by the "International Immigrants Foundation of the United Nations", for his strong commitment to promote and strengthen the socio-cultural relations between Europe and China.
Together with him, in 1993, this very prestigious prize was also awarded to great international personalities, including Mikhael Gorbachev, Jorge Mas Canosa, Jonas Salk and Eugenio Alberto Lestelle.
We must also mention, however, the awards received by the "World Council of Pan-Africanism" (COMOPA), such as: "Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Comopa", an honour reserved only for Heads of State and high-ranking African officials such as Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan and Boutros Boutros-Ghali, as well as the "2011 Great Literary Prize" for his commendable contribution to Africa’s progress in various fields, ranging from international diplomacy to the carrying out of high-level geopolitical studies, which allowed to fully contribute to the history of the continent as early as the 1980s, as well as to eradicate old ethnic discriminations with a view to achieving a common region characterized by civilization, progress and peaceful coexistence.