Globe, the Graduate Institute Review
18 October 2021


Elettra Ronchi is a new member of the Institute's Foundation Board. 

Why did you decide to join the Institute’s Foundation Board?

I have known and respected the Graduate Institute’s educational mission for many years and particularly its role in offering unique learning and research opportunities on the most crucial policy issues affecting our economies and societies.

The Institute is transitioning into a new phase under the dynamic leadership of its recently appointed director, Marie-Laure Salles, who has set out to develop a new strategic vision aimed at strengthening the Institute’s interdisciplinary profile, and further consolidating its reputation nationally and internationally.

In accepting to join the Board, I saw an opportunity to bring my contribution to this strategic process, and at a crucial juncture for multilateralism and global governance, which the COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed and highlighted.

What will you bring to the Board and the Institute?

The Board is fully engaged with the Director in her strategic reflection. Towards this, I bring the experience accumulated over more than two decades as international-policy analyst at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

As Head of Unit under the Digital Economy Policy Division, I contributed to shaping the Organisation’s broad digital agenda, particularly on ehealth, privacy and data governance.

Before joining the international civil service I also held academic positions in the United States and France.

To the Board I intend to bring my academic and international policy experience, and my understanding of the challenges facing our global community.

What is your take on the digital transformation in higher education and at the Institute?

The transition to a digital era concerns education perhaps more than any other sector of our economies. Providing students with the right digital skills and tools is a prerequisite to keeping up with the ever increasing digital transformation.

In this respect, in developing its digital strategy, I believe the Institute should aim for three objectives: digital innovation for new teaching/learning environments to maximise educational outcomes and outreach; prepare students with the right digital skills and complementary competencies for the disruptive impact that automation and artificial intelligence will have on our economies and societies; and promote innovative institutional partnerships and cross-disciplinary research for an inclusive, human-centred and “green” digital transformation.

Monsieur Rolf Soiron a quitté le Conseil de fondation qu’il avait rejoint en 2010 avant d’en devenir le president en 2014. Mme Beth Krasna lui a succédé à la présidence en juillet dernier et M. Charles Beer a repris la vice-présidence. Deux nouveaux membres sont entrés au Conseil : Mme Elettra Ronchi, Head of Unit à la Division for Digital Economy Policy de l’Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques, et Monsieur Alessandro Curioni, IBM Fellow, vice-président d’IBM Europe et Afrique et directeur d’IBM Research Lab à Zurich.

This article was published in Globe #28.