Italian PM Renzi has chosen Laura Frigenti among five candidates to the role of Director of the new Italian Development Agency. “Ms Frigenti was chosen through a public selection process, at the end of which the selection committee submitted a shortlist of 5 names to Minister Gentiloni, all of them highly qualified in development cooperation matters”, says a statement released today by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI). “The different stages of the selection procedure were published and constantly up-dated on the Farnesina’s website.”
“Development cooperation is a vital and prominent element of Italian foreign policy”, declared Gentiloni. “I offer Director Frigenti my very best wishes in her new job. She will have the delicate and crucial role of organising the structure of the new Agency and starting its operations. Working closely with the Ministry, the Agency will ensure that Italian Development Cooperation – which in the ‘Stability Law’ saw its resources increase significantly – is as effective as possible in its activities as a whole”.
Born in Rome and active in the development cooperation sector since 1984, Laura Frigenti was probably little known among Italian cooperation professionals, yet she has had a top career mainly overseas. Vice President of the Global Development Practice Department at InterAction, the national platform of US NGOs, Frigenti has held various positions at the World Bank over a 20-year period, including Country Director and Director of Strategy and Operations for Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America.
Before then, Laura Frigenti worked in Rome at the Directorate General for Development Cooperation (DGCS). At InterAction she currently contributes to the strengthening of relations between NGOs and the private sector, the adoption of best practices on transparency and accountability, and the development of strategic partnerships in the context of the post-2015, and G8/G20.
In August 2014, the Italian Parliament approved a new development cooperation law establishing a development agency and a separate development bank. The agency will come under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. With the new law, the ministry has overall responsibility for policy and a separate executing agency lead by Ms Frigenti is responsible for implementation.