Structure and governance


AVSI is governed by:

Meeting of Founding Members

Founding Members are institutions and natural persons who have qualified as such on transformation of the AVSI Association into the AVSI Foundation by the Shareholders' Meeting through a resolution adopted unanimously and democratically by those present (December 2, 2004).

Committee of Partners

Partners, whether institutions or natural persons, are those who have been as such qualified by the AVSI Meeting upon transformation of the Association into a Foundation (on December 2, 2004), through a resolution democratically adopted unanimously by those present. Natural persons and institutions contributing in a continuous and significant manner to the life of the Foundation and to realization of the Foundation’s objectives outside relationships of employment or regular collaboration, may apply to became Partners. The Meeting of Founding Members grants the status of Partner. The Committee of Partners meets at least once a year.

The Committee of Partners currently has 90 participants:

  • 89 individuals (32 women and 57 men)
  • 1 organization

Board of Directors

The Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors currently comprising six members. Directors serve a four-year term which expires on the date of the Meeting called for the approval of the final balance related to the last financial year of their term. Directors may be re-elected. Members of the Board of Directors are nominated by the Meeting of Founding Members through a vote by Founding Member Institutions only.

President, Vice-President, Secretary General

They are appointed by the Board of Directors and serve a four-year term.
In 2021 Patrizia Savi was appointed President, Alfredo Mantica Vice-President and Giampaolo Silvestri Secretary General.

Members of the board of Directors

Marilena Chessa

Former Judge at the Juvenile Court of Milan

Marilena Chessa served as a magistrate from 1983 to 2020. After significant experience in the adult criminal justice system, as Deputy Prosecutor and Trial Judge at the Ordinary Court of Milan, in 2001 she became a Judge at the Juvenile Court of Milan. As regards criminal law, she dealt with juvenile offenders, while in the civil/re-educational sector with interventions to protect adolescents at risk of deviant behavior. While performing her jurisdictional functions, she also always taught and participated in conferences, seminars and training courses aimed mainly at lawyers, psycho-social workers and professionals in areas related to juvenile justice. She is still involved in research, promoted by or with the involvement of the Juvenile Court of Milan, in collaboration with the academia.

Daniele Contini

Country Managing Director at Just Eat Italy

Daniele Contini is Country Managing Director of Just Eat Italy. Previously, he worked as CEO of, which belongs to the international media group Schibsted, for which he also served as Director of Operations for Southeast Europe and Africa. He has also held other senior positions in companies focused on digital innovation, such as Fastweb and Microsoft.

Alessandro Maffioli

Chief Development Effectiveness Division at IDB Invest

Alessandro Maffioli is head of the Development Effectiveness division at IDB Invest. He oversees the organization’s Impact Management Framework. During his 18 years at IDB Group, he coordinated impact evaluations of projects in areas such as agricultural development, science and technology, small and medium enterprise productivity, and access to credit. Before joining the IDB Group in 2004, he spent five years at the Institute of Latin American and Transition Country Studies at Bocconi University, focusing his research on innovation and regional economics.

Alfredo Mantica

Former Senator and Deputy Minister

An industrial executive, Alfredo Mantica was elected Senator of the Italian Republic in 1987 and for six terms until 2013. He served as Undersecretary for Cooperation and Development for Africa and the Middle East at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2001 to 2006, and from 2008 to 2011.

Lorenzo Ornaghi

Former Dean of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan

Lorenzo Ornaghi is Honorary President of the Alta Scuola di Economia e Relazioni Internazionali (ASERI) of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, of which he was the Dean from 2002 to 2012. He served as Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities from November 2011 to April 2013.

Patrizia Savi

Chief Financial and Risk Officer at SEA – Aeroporti di Milano

Patrizia Savi is Chief Financial and Risk Officer of the SEA Group. She is President of SEA Prime and Areas Food Services and also a Board Member of Dufrital. Previously, she was Chief Financial Officer of the A2A Group and Director in the Group’s subsidiaries and investee companies.

Giampaolo Silvestri

AVSI Foundation Secretary General

Giampaolo Silvestri joined AVSI in 1996. He was Project Coordinator for Eastern Europe, then became Director of the Project Department and later on Executive Director. In 2013, he was appointed Secretary General and then confirmed for a new four-year term in 2017 and 2021. In 2015, he was appointed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation as a member of the National Council for Development Cooperation, as a representative of civil society organizations and other non-profit entities. In the same year, he began collaborating also with the Interministerial Committee for Human Rights. In October 2017, he was appointed a fellow of the International Affairs Institute.

Board of Auditors

  • President: Michele Grampa
  • Members: Delia GattiAlfredo Tradati

Advisory Board

Appointed by AVSI Board of Directors, the Advisory Board is made up of authoritative and qualified personalities external to the Foundation, who can provide consultancy support in the direction of the activities, in particular in the definition of strategic guidelines also considering the complexity and changeability of the context where the Foundation operates, or on specific issues that the Board resolves to submit to it.

Appointed on September 9, 2020, the current members of AVSI Advisory Board are:

  • Angelino Alfano, former Deputy Prime Minister and three-time Minister of the Italian Republic. Currently Chairman of the San Donato Hospital Group, President of the De Gasperi Foundation and partner of the law firm Bonelli Erede;
  • Laura Frigenti, CEO of the Global Partnership for Education, former Global Head International Development Practice at KPMG; previously Director of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation;
  • Paolo Lembo, Member of the Superior Advisory Council of the University of Peace (UN), he worked at the United Nations from 1987 to 2019, holding top positions mainly in the management of complex emergencies, including Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Algeria, Burundi, Kosovo, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen;
  • Stefano Manservisi, Professor at the Paris School of International Affairs and at the Florence School of Transnational Governance (European University Institute), Chairman of the Board of the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund, former Director General of the Directorate for International Cooperation and Development of the European Commission.

Supervisory Board

  • President: Benedetta Colombo, Lawyer at “Studio Legale Associato Lecis Cannella Grassi”
  • Giorgio Brandazza, Chief Executive Officer at Corneliani S.r.l.
  • Claudio Consigliere, AVSI Internal Auditor

Internal Audit

Claudio Consigliere is currently serving as Internal Auditor as appointed by AVSI Board of Directors on June 16, 2021.

Organizational structure

AVSI’s organization is structured into four levels and decentralized into geographical areas:

  • Executive area: this area oversees the processes used to define our strategic direction and the information used to ensure that our work is of high quality and in line with our values.
  • HQ back functions: this section oversees the main processes used to support headquarters and the country offices and to maintain the organization’s position.
  • HQ front functions: this section oversees the fundraising processes to finance projects, to find new opportunities, and to implement and manage projects.
  • Decentralized organizational structure: these areas oversee the processes used to implement and manage projects in close concert with headquarters.

AVSI works for a world where each person, aware of his or her own value and dignity, is the protagonist of his or her own integral development and that of his or her community, even in emergency contexts.