Alumnus Portrait
07 May 2020

Alumnus' Career Pivots as COVID-19 Hits His Native Sicily

Paolo Petralia Camassa earned his Master in International Affairs from the Graduate Institute in 2019. 

Having grown up in Sicily in a family full of judges and public servants, Paolo Petralia Camassa nurtured a lifelong passion for politics and justice issues, led by the idea that legality is the matrix of all progress.

At age thirteen, he joined a political party for the first time, gaining knowledge of political campaigns, elections, political communication, and social, political and economic issues.

After a period of study and work experiences, he joined the Italian Democratic Party. He fervently believes that his generation can make a big contribution to the changes and political transitions that have come about in the last few years. 

In February, the Mayor of Palermo Leoluca Orlando, one of the founders of the Global Parliament of Mayors and the signer of the "Charter of Palermo" on the right to international mobility, appointed Paolo as alderman of the city of Palermo.

Paolo manages sports, digitalisation and innovation, in addition to international relations and youth policies.

For Paolo, today's challenge of innovation should be an international goal. 

"The concept of safety and health has definitely changed today, and it is finally strongly connected to environmental issues. Being safe requires respecting the environment and taking care of it. Innovating and digitalising actions will give all of us a cleaner world and will produce several advantages. To name a few, digitalised administrative procedures imply less consumption of paper; working from home by teleworking and smartworking tools implies a cleaner mobility, as car emissions will decrease; etc. These are some of the several other initiatives we are now putting together for a post-Covid political program in the city of Palermo". 

The virtual assistant, named after the "Genie of Palermo" (the city's lay protector), is constantly updated with coronavirus regulations and governmental emergency measures thus providing any type of information such as mobility rules, self-quarantine advice, etc.

Muhammad Ali once said, "he who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life". This advice, coupled with his passion for politics, guides Paolo through his new political role, created in a time of economic and social crisis.