Romano Prodi served as President of the Council of Ministers (Prime Minister) of Italy twice, from 1996-1998 and 2006-2008. He became President of the European Commission at a time of crisis, from 1999-2004. On 12 September 2008, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon selected Prodi as president of the African Union-UN peacekeeping panel. He is currently serving as the UN Special Envoy for the Sahel.
He graduated in economics at Milan\'s Catholic University and did postgraduate studies at the London School of Economics. He also spent a year as visiting professor at Harvard in 1974. He has received almost 20 honorary degrees from institutions in Italy, and from the rest of Europe, North America, Asia, and Africa. From 1982-1989 and 1993-1994 Prodi was CEO of the powerful state-owned industrial holding company IRI. He surprised everyone by successfully getting Italy accepted as a member of the single European currency against all odds.
Prodi, an expert economist and negotiator and prominent pro-European, provides his worldwide audiences with insights into his commitment to deliver on all issues from leading state-run industries to successful international political negotiation. His low-key style of government by consensus and compromise won over millions of Italians, achieving continued success through a carefully managed policy of government financial and fiscal discipline.