Carola Carazzone

Chair, Dafne - Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe

Carola serves as Secretary General of Assifero, the Italian national membership association of grant-making foundations (family, corporate and community foundations) since February 2014. She is also board member of DAFNE (Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe), of Ariadne (European network of funders for human rights and social change) and of ECFI (European Community Foundations Initiative). She is also member of  the Editorial board of Alliance magazine, the leading magazine for philanthropy and social investment worldwide, and of Ashoka Italia’s Advisory Committee.


Carola moved to the philanthropy sector after fifteen-year professional experience in 18 countries and in many diverse multicultural environments, working with civil society for the promotion and protection of human rights in different developing and humanitarian local contexts and at international level. 

She is an Italian lawyer specialized in human rights at the Renéè Cassin International Institute of Human Rights in Strasburg with an international Master’s degree in development economics from the European School of Advanced Studies in Cooperation and Development of the University of Pavia.

Inspired by Amartya Sen’s work on inequalities, human development and fundamental freedoms, as an Italian lawyer specialized in international human rights law, she never wanted to focus on individual judicial cases, but rather on large-scale action-oriented social change programmes, using a solid background in economics and development programming to apply innovative approaches aimed at enlarging capabilities.

In 2002 she established the Human Rights Coordination Office for VIS -Volontariato Internazionale per lo sviluppo – one of the ten biggest Italian development NGO in special consultative status with ECOSOC and in 2011 she became President of VIS.


From 2006 to 2013, she acted as the Spokesperson of a network of 88 Italian human rights NGOs leading international and national advocacy before the Human Rights Council, different United Nations Treaty bodies and Special Procedures, the Italian Parliament, Government, Ombudsperson and Equality Bodies.


It is amazing and at the same time sad that she was the first Italian woman serving in each of the positions she reached.