Giovanna Melandri has been an active contributor to Italian political life for many years.
She was a member of the Italian Parliament for 18 years (1994-2012) and held the positions of Minister for Culture (1998- 2001) and Minister for Youth and Sport (2006-2008).
During her political career, she has been mostly engaged in international relations, cultural affairs, human rights, youth policies, sport and environment.
Before entering politics, she worked for five years for Montedison, one of the largest industrial companies in Italy. She holds a Degree Cum Laude in Economics.
An environmental activist since 1992, Giovanna Melandri has been in charge of international relations for Legambiente(1988 to 1994). In that capacity, she attended the Bergen Conference on Sustainable Development in 1990 and was a member of the Italian delegation to the UN Rio summit in 1992.
As a parliamentarian, she has gained a wide and varied international experience, including in her capacity of member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Chair of the Human Right subcommittee.
She has also been a member of the Italian parliamentary delegation to the Council of Europe and to the Western European Union, and attended the first UN World Forum on Television in 1997.
As Minister for Culture and as Minister for Youth and Sport Giovanna Melandri has represented Italy within the EU Council of Ministers and at the Council of Europe.
She has developed close cooperation with other multilateral organizations, such as UNESCO and WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency), whose creation she has successfully advocated for, and she has co-organized with some of them important international events with the World Bank, a groundbreaking conference, where she introduced in her closing remarks the concept of “cultural sustainability”.
She attended the UN Youth Leader Forum in October 2006, alongside then Secretary-General Kofi Annan and other youth Ministers.
In both her capacities of parliamentarian and member of the Italian Government, she has developed over the years a wide range of international relations with her colleagues worldwide, and particularly in Europe and in the Middle East. As Minister, she has signed several bilateral cooperation protocols for cultural cooperation, youth policies and sport.
Giovanna Melandri is an active member of several Italian and International networks including Emily in Italia, a sister organization of the American Emily’s List, which promotes a wider presence of women in public life.
She is the author of many articles and publications on environment, culture, social and international affairs, some of them available in different languages.
From 1986 to 1991 she has been responsible for the Italian edition of World Watch Magazine, the bimonthly magazine edited by Lester Brown’s Word Watch Institute.
Since 1 November 2012 has held the position of President of the Fondazione MAXXI.