John Cabot University Announces 2024 Commencement Guests Marta Dassù and Francesca La Marca

John Cabot University is pleased to announce that the 2024 Commencement speaker will be Marta Dassù, Senior Director of European Affairs at the Aspen Institute. The University will also welcome honorary degree recipient Francesca La Marca, a senator of the Italian Republic.

This year’s Commencement ceremony, the University’s 51st, will take place on May 13 at Villa Aurelia on the Janiculum Hill overlooking the city of Rome. 237 students from 35 different countries are expected to graduate.

Marta Dassù
Marta Dassù

Marta Dassù – Commencement Speaker 2024
Marta Dassù is Senior Advisor for European Affairs, The Aspen Institute, and Editor-in-chief of Aspenia, the journal of Aspen Institute Italia. She was Italy’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs from November 2011 to February 2014.

She is a Board Member of the European Council on Foreign Relations, IAI (Istituto Affari Internazionali), and the European Policy Centre’s Strategic Council. She is Vice President of the Center for American Studies in Rome. She sits on the board of IIF-JP Morgan, Gruppo Marcegaglia, and Eni-Enrico Mattei Foundation. She writes for the Italian Daily La Repubblica and her most recent book is Anglo Nostalgia. The Politics of Emotion in a Fractured West (Hurst and Oxford University Press 2019). Dassù will receive the degree of Doctor of International Affairs, honoris causa.

Francesca La Marca
Senator Francesca La Marca

Francesca La Marca – Commencement Honoree 2024
Born in Toronto, Canada to Italian parents, Francesca La Marca has a Ph.D. in French Literature from the University of Toronto. In 2013 she was elected to the Italian Chamber of Deputies to represent Italian citizens residing in the Electoral College of North and Central America. In 2018 she was re-elected to the Chamber of Deputies and in 2022, she was elected to the Italian Senate and currently holds the only Senate Seat for North and Central America.

She contributed, along with other representatives of the PD (Democratic Party), to supporting policies for Italians abroad. In Parliament, she has been committed to ensuring the full efficiency of consular services and the Public Administration for Italians abroad, strengthening the honorary consular network, consolidating policies for the promotion of the Italian language and culture, safeguarding the elderly, promoting youth exchanges, and citizenship, as well as providing incentives for Italians abroad to become active participants in “heritage tourism.” Senator La Marca will receive the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.