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Image by Michele Bitetto
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ISSNAF is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to connect, empower and celebrate the Italian Intellectual Diaspora in North America, connecting more than 3000 scholars, researchers and technologists in North America.

ISSNAF Chapters carry out the ISSNAF mission at the local level with support of active members and volunteers.

We promote networking and cultural, scientific, academic and technological cooperation within our community and with public and private organizations in North America and in Italy.

ISSNAF is honored and proud to be under the High Patronage of the President of the Italian Republic.

ISSNAF was established in 2007 by 36 prominent Italian scientists and scholars in North America, among them four Nobel Prize recipients, under the auspices of the Italian Embassy in Washington DC.

Achille Varzi
Columbia University
Alberto Alesina
Harvard University
American Academy of Arts & Sciences 2006
Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli
University of California Berkeley
Andrew Viterbi
University of California San Diego
Bruno Coppi
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Camillo Ricordi
University of Miami
Carlo Maria Croce
Ohio State University
Elio Raviola
Harvard University
Emilio Bizzi
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
NAS 1986
Enrico Bombieri
Princeton University
Fields Medal 1974, Balzan Prize 1980, NAS 1996
Federico Capasso
Harvard University
NAS 1996, Balzan Prize 2016, Matteucci Medal 2019
Francesco Della Porta
Università di Trento
Franco Einaudi
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Giorgio Bellettini
Fermi Laboratory
Matteucci Medal 2006
Giorgio Bugliarello
Polytechnic Institute of New York
Giulio Della Rocca
Santa Monica College
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The mission of the Italian Scientists and Scholars in North America Foundation is to connect, empower and celebrate the Italian Intellectual ‘Diaspora’* in North America.

At ISSNAF, we believe that the Italian intellectual talent is a powerful resource for the benefit of humanity. Professionals who have been educated in Italy and have moved to North America bring a unique intellectual and cultural make-up, valuable not only to their professional fields but to their peers in North America and to Italy. We strive to make the Italian intellectual diaspora in North America accessible, nurtured and recognized.


Our mission can be summarized as:


*The Italian Intellectual Diaspora in North America is comprised of the scholars, scientists and technologists who 1. are first generation Italians; 2. hold a university degree; 3. conduct, or have conducted research or development in any discipline; 4. have, or have had, at least one year of affiliation with a public or private institution in North America.



ISSNAF is a 501 (c)3 nonprofit organization incorporated under the laws of the State of California.



The President of ISSNAF is the face of the organization, and promotes and exemplifies the values of ISSNAF.

Board of Directors

The ISSNAF Board of Directors is the highest duly constituted authority of the Italian Scientists and Scholars in North America Foundation. Directors provide leadership and play a vital role in maintaining a high scholarly profile, fundraising, building partnerships, and advocating for the organization. Directors commit time to the service of the organization and are expected to participate in at least one Committee and endeavor to ensure the success of the organization. The Board elects a Chair and Vice Chair to manage the work of the Board. 

Directors will serve for an initial period of two years. The appointment is renewable in yearly increments up to a total of five continuous years of service, after which a two-year period must elapse before they can serve on the Board again.

The President and Directors are required to financially support ISSNAF and make a yearly donation as generous as possible.



Standing Committees of the Board

The Standing Committees of the Board are permanent committees, composed of Board members and other qualified individuals who help guide ISSNAF in its strategic and operational needs. The Committee Chair is a member of the Board of Directors.


  • The Executive Committee focuses on the most operational aspects of the foundation.

  • The Governance Committee focuses on supporting the Board of Directors, making sure that the board composition is balanced, and recruiting is active

  • The Young ISSNAF Committee focuses on the needs of early-career members, by developing appropriate programs and tools

  • The Membership Committee focuses on growing the membership and supporting the Chapters

  • The Scientific Council focuses on the discipline-level leadership and the ISSNAF scholarly programs including the ISSNAF Awards

  • The Strategy and Development Committee focuses on the value proposition, the long-range plans and identification and cultivation of stakeholders and sponsors

Business Meeting

Honorary Board

The Honorary Board is comprised of 1. individuals who have distinguished themselves for their service to the organization and represents its heritage, or 2. individuals of Italian origin with a distinguished career as scholars or researchers.

Honorary Board members are goodwill ambassadors for ISSNAF; they participate to ISSNAF activities as distinguished scholars and speakers and support Young ISSNAF as mentors and champions.


The Executive Chair directs the affairs of the Honorary Board. The Executive Chair is elected yearly by the Honorary Board and is a non-voting member of the ISSNAF Board of Directors.


The appointment to the Honorary Board does not expire.

Honorary Board Members

  • Mariangela Zappia, Chair, Italian Ambassador to the United States of America (2021)

  • Vito Campese, Executive Chair, Emeritus Professor, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California (2019)

  • Giorgio Bellettini, Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Pisa (2019)

  • Emilio Bizzi, Institute Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2019)

  • Guido Calabresi, Senior Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (2020)

  • Federico Capasso, Robert Wallace Professor of Applied Physics, Harvard University; ISSNAF Founder (2023)

  • Rita Colwell, Distinguished University Professor, Institute for Advanced Computer Studies, University of Maryland (2019)

  • Giorgio Einaudi, Former Professor of Physics, University of Pisa (2023) 

  • Mauro Ferrari, EVP of Houston Methodist and President and CEO of Houston Methodist Research Institute (2023)

  • Giulia Galli, Liew Family Professor, University of Chicago, and Senior Scientist and MICCoM Director, Argonne National Laboratory (2022)

  • Silvio Micali, Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Founder, Algorand (2021)

  • Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini, Professor of Linguistics and Cognitive Science, University of Arizona (2022) 

  • Camillo Ricordi, Distinguished Professor, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami (2019)

  • Andrew Viterbi, Presidential Chair Professor, Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California (2019)

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