The Team


    Alessandro Girola is a development economist and international project officer with over ten years of professional experience. His interests include poverty reduction, women’s economic empowerment, governance, financial inclusion, sustainability and rural development. After receiving degrees in Economics from Bocconi University and a master’s degree in International Finance, Economics and Policy from Columbia University, he gained experience working in the financial sector, academia, and international organizations, including the African Development Bank and UN Women. He has worked in Africa, Europe, North America and South-East Asia. Alessandro is currently the Programming Coordinator at the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations.


    Milena Pighi studied Foreign Languages and Literature in Verona, Italy. In 1998, she joined the BMW Group as a spokesperson for Corporate Communications and CSR in Italy. In 2004, she moved to Munich, Germany, to take care of steering and managing Corporate Communications of BMW Group subsidiaries around the globe. The main objective of her responsibility was the promotion of mutual understanding and cooperation between the markets and the company’s headquarters. In January 2013, Ms. Pighi was appointed Head of Social Engagement for the BMW Group.


    Vanessa Suen is a consultant and project officer with over eight years of professional experience, specializing in strategy and operational efficiency. She is currently working on the Youth Solidarity Fund and Intercultural Innovation Award initiatives at the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations. Her interests include innovation, social entrepreneurship, economic empowerment, gender equality and youth policy. She has worked in Asia with development organizations as well as on microfinance in the Pacific with the Government of Australia. As a management consultant, she has also worked with many corporate clients in London and Sydney. She has degrees in international management from the London School of Economics and Political Science, HEC Paris and the University of Sydney.