Massimiliano Santini


Policy Leaders Fellow
European University Institute
(Tanoto AsiaGlobal Fellow 2019)

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Massimiliano Santini is a policy leaders fellow with the European University Institute and a senior economist of the World Bank, where he has worked in more than 20 countries. Santini started his career in investment banking in London, served in public and private international organizations in New York, and worked in the independent film industry, where he produced and post-produced documentaries on social issues.  

During the last 10 years of his World Bank career, Santini led the policy dialogue with governments to design and roll out private sector development reforms with the goal of improving the competitiveness, investment climate, governance, and entrepreneurship of different countries. In 2015-17, Santini was president of the Italian Democratic Party’s chapter in Washington, DC. He is a frequent contributing opinion writer on political narratives in Italian and foreign media.  

Santini holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Modena. He graduated from the Master in Public Administration in International Development (MPA/ID) program at Harvard Kennedy School, where he was Ruffolo Fellow in Sustainability Science.  

His research as an AsiaGlobal Fellow will explore how political narratives interpret people’s needs, build competing visions of the future, and why some narratives work better than others within the context of rapid globalization and the rise of populist movements.  

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