The Italian Government has nominated Mariangela Zappia as the next Italian Ambassador to Washington. She would be the first woman to ever hold the position. The current Ambassador, Armando Varricchio, will be heading to Berlin, a key post for Italian diplomacy, as Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel will not seek a fifth term.
Zappia joined the Foreign Service in 1983, when she was appointed to the legal and political affairs offices before holding various positions at the Italian Embassy in Dakar and at the Consulate General in New York. She rose to the rank of Counsellor in 1993, and shortly thereafter rose to First Counsellor. She subsequently worked at the Italian Embassy in Brussels, the NATO media task-force during the conflict in Kosovo, and, in 2000, became head of the Permanent Mission of Italy to the UN in New York.
Zappia then took a three-year leave of absence to dedicate herself full time to her family. In 2007 she returned to work in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome and was then appointed Minister Plenipotentiary at the Permanent Mission of Italy to the UN and other International Organizations in Geneva. In 2011, she became head of the European Union Delegation to the UN and other International Organizations in Geneva.
From 2014 to 2016 she served as Permanent Representative of Italy to NATO in Brussels, becoming the first woman to hold this position. She was appointed Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations in New York in 2018, where she remains currently.
Ambassador Zappia was born in Viadana, a municipality in the province of Mantua, in the Region of Lombardy. She graduated from the University of Florence in 1981 and holds a Master’s degree in Political Science and International Relations and a Post-graduate degree in Diplomatic and International Relations also from the University of Florence.
In 2018, Zappia was awarded the decoration of “Commendatore” (Commander) of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic. In June 2019, she received the “Mela d’Oro” (Golden Apple), a recognition assigned by the “Fondazione Marisa Bellisario” to outstanding women in the fields of public institutions, management, science, economy, culture, media and sport. (Francesco)