Italy–USA Foundation (Italian: Fondazione Italia USA) was established to promote the friendship between Italians and Americans plus American culture in Italy. The foundation is a non-profit organization based in Rome, Italy.
President is Lucio D'Ubaldo, Vice-Presidents are Giuseppe Fioroni, Gabriella Giammanco, Linda Lanzillotta, Giorgio Tonini, Secretary General is Corrado Maria Daclon, President of Scientific Committee is Umberto Veronesi, Vicepresident of Scientific Committee is Franco Bassanini, Secretary of Scientific Committee is Annagrazia Calabria.
The foundation organizes meetings between Italian members of Parliament and US Senators and Representatives to discuss about legislation and cultural issues, also in partnership with the American Legislative Exchange Council. The foundation cooperates with many American universities, first of all Loyola University Chicago through the John Felice Rome Center, for projects, conferences, staging. The scientific committee consists in more than 30 members, including some Italian scientists, politicians, diplomats, journalists, like for example Paolo Mieli, Fiamma Nirenstein, Aurelio De Laurentiis, Carla Fendi.
The Italy–USA Foundation promote yearly in Italy the America Award (Italian: Premio America), a recognition under the auspices of the President of the Italian Republic. The award is mainly seen as a means to acknowledge and encourage initiatives and work aimed at favouring relationships between Italy and the United States of America.
The award is mainly seen as a means to acknowledge and encourage initiatives and work aimed at favouring relationships between Italy and the United States of America. Prominent personalities of any nationality who stand out for their work and results in promoting transatlantic friendship are considered.
The ceremony is hold in Rome, Italy, at Chamber of Deputies, the Italian Parliament. The Italy-USA Foundation, in the frame of the America Award, also confer three sterling silver medals of the President of the Chamber of Deputies to three students of American universities. The prize is an exclusive work of art in sterling silver by the goldsmith Gerardo Sacco, representing a Caravel with both the American and Italian flags.
Among the winners Andrea Bocelli, Dino De Laurentiis, Walter Veltroni, Umberto Paolucci, Pierfrancesco Guarguaglini, Umberto Veronesi, Antonio Campo Dall'Orto, Ennio Morricone, Franco Frattini, Rinaldo Petrignani, Maria Grazia Cucinotta, Luciano Pavarotti, Igor Man, Piero Fassino, Renzo Arbore, Justine Mattera, Renato Balestra, Massimo Ferragamo, Antonio Di Bella, Emilio Carelli, Alain Elkann, Oriana Fallaci, Emma Bonino, Laura Biagiotti, Mike Bongiorno, Maria Laura Baccarini, Franca Sozzani, Jeremy Rifkin, Peter F. Secchia, Carlo Rossella, Maria Grazia Cucinotta, Edward Luttwak, Alison Smale, Jo Champa, Lapo Elkann, Paul Bremer, Gianni Riotta, Guido Damiani, Oscar Farinetti.
A delegation of the Foundation met on Sunday December 13, 2009, in Capanne prison on the outskirts of Perugia, with American prisoner Amanda Knox, then campaigned for her until the acquittal verdict. The Secretary General of the Foundation, Corrado Maria Daclon, who became a close friend of Knox's while she was in prison, managed Knox's departure from the penitentiary of Perugia to the airport after the acquittal, when Knox returned to her home in Seattle.
Knox wrote a letter to Corrado Maria Daclon the day after she was freed by prison, with her first words since she regaining freedom: "To hold my hand and offer support and respect throughout the obstacles and the controversy, there were Italians. There was the Italy-USA Foundation, and many others that shared my pain and that helped me survive, with hope. I am eternally grateful for their caring hospitality and their courageous commitment. To those that wrote me, that defended me, that stood by me, that prayed for me. I am forever grateful to you. I love you."
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