Barbara Faedda is the Executive Director of the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies at Columbia University. She received her Ph.D. in Legal Anthropology and Social Science from the Università Suor Orsola Benincasa di Napoli after studying at Sapienza Università di Roma (Laurea in Lettere). She studied in Paris at the Summer Institute of International & Comparative Law (co-sponsored by Cornell Law School and Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne), and at Boston University (as a visiting scholar).
Dr. Faedda is also Adjunct Professor in Columbia's Department of Italian, where she teaches courses on contemporary Italy.
In 2016, she conceived the International Observatory for Cultural Heritage (IOCH), dedicated to all issues relating to the survival, protection, and conservation of cultural heritage. Among the programs she has designed are: the annual Holocaust Remembrance Program; Women Leaders Now (annual events for Women's History Month and International Women's Day); and the Rule of Law Initiative.
In 2019, Dr. Faedda was appointed Ambassador, Permanent Observer for the European Public Law Organization to the United Nations. She presented her credentials on May 21, 2019, in New York to the Secretary-General of the U.N., António Guterres.
In February 2020, she was named The 2020 Illustrious Alumnus/Alumna of Sapienza Università di Roma, the distinguished institution that is more than 700 years old.
In July 2022 the President of the Italian Republic named Barbara Faedda a "Commendatore della Repubblica" (Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic).
Her professional background includes experience in an Italian luxury fashion firm in Rome in the 1990s and a continuing research interest in food, design, and visual culture.
She is the author of the books Elite. Cultura italiana e statunitense tra Settecento e Novecento (Ronzani Editore, 2020), From Da Ponte to the Casa Italiana: A Brief History of Italian Studies at Columbia (Columbia University Press, 2017), and I mille volti della moda; she is also a co-author of the book Luoghi di frontiera. Antropologia delle mediazioni, and a contributor to various books and manuscripts.
Her recent publications include: A Lost Mediterranean Culture. The Giant Statues of Sardinia's Mont'e Prama, coeditor (Columbia University Press, 2023); Rule of Law: Cases, Strategies, and Interpretations, editor (Ronzani/The Italian Academy, 2021); Present and Future Memory. Holocaust Studies at the Italian Academy (2008-2016), editor, (Italian Academy Publications, Columbia University, 2016); “An Italian Perspective on the U.S.-Italy Relationship”, in Italy in the White House: A Conversation on Historical Perspectives, David M. Rubenstein National Center for White House History (The White House Historical Association, 2016); “Neurolaw: come le neuroscienze potrebbero cambiare l’antropologia giuridica,” in Antropologia giuridica. Etnografie e temi attuali, A. De Lauri ed. (Mondadori Universita’, 2013); “Emozioni e paure. Come la politica utilizza l’Altro,” in Politica ed emozioni nella storia d’Italia dal 1848 ad oggi, P. Morris, F. Ricatti, M. Seymour, eds. (Viella, 2012); “L’immigration law statunitense,” with L. Melchionna, in Regioni, Immigrazione e Diritti Sociali, E. Rossi, F. Biondi Dal Monte, M. Vrenna, eds., Scuola Superiore S. Anna of Pisa (Il Mulino, 2012); and “We are not racists, but we do not want immigrants,” in Integration, Globalization and Racialization: Theories and Perspectives on Immigration, J. Capetillo, G. Jacobs, P. Kretsedemas, eds. (Routledge, 2012).