Who we are
Claudio Bertolotti, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Head of Research
Claudio holds a Ph.D. in Sociology and Political Science and a BA in Contemporary History. He also specialized in Sociology of Islam. His current research focuses on terrorism, jihadist radicalisation, contemporary small wars and asymmetric conflicts in the MENA area.
As of April 17th, 2019, Executive Director of ReaCT – National Observatory on Radicalisation and Counter-Terrorism (Rome). As a military officer, he served as NATO Counter-Intelligence analyst and Section Chief in Afghanistan. Since 2008, he has lectured Italian staff personnel in ‘History, Societies, Cultures and Conflicts of Contemporary Afghanistan’. Since 2015, he is a Senior Researcher at the Centre Euromaghrébin de Recherches et d’Etudes Stratégiques (CEMRES) and the Italian representative within the ‘5+5 Defense Initiative’ research working group. He held the position of Senior Research Fellow and Research Coordinator at the Italian Military Centre for Strategic Studies (Ce.Mi.S.S.). Currently, he is Head of Research at START InSight, Associate Research Fellow at the Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI, Milan), frequent lecturer at SIOI (Società Italiana per l’Organizzazione Internazionale, Rome), Subject Matter Expert at NATO, and a member of ITSTIME (Italian Team for Security, Terroristic Issues & Managing Emergencies). As of September 2021, he is also a member of the Human and Civil Rights’ Committee of the Piedmont Regional Council.
Chiara Sulmoni, BA, MA
President, Head of Editorial production
Chiara holds a BA and an MA in Italian Studies from UCL (University College London) and an MA in Near and Middle Eastern Studies from SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies, London). She works as a journalist and (desk) producer with specific experience in realising and supervising reports and documentaries on subjects pertaining to the Arab and Islamic worlds, Afghanistan, Pakistan, conflicts, Islamist radicalisation. As an analyst, she wrote several contributions and gave lessons; she has been focussing on issues related to violent extremism and terrorism. As of April 17th, 2019 she is also a Co-Director of ReaCT – National Observatory of Radicalisation and Counter-Terrorism (Rome). Her work mainly features on RSI – Swiss Italian Radio and TV.
Andrea Molle, Ph.D., FRAS
Senior Research Fellow
Orange (California, US)
Andrea is a quantitative and computational social scientist. Since 2012, he has been Assistant Professor of Political Science and Associate Researcher at the Institute for the Study of Religion, Economics, and Society of Chapman University. From 2006 to 2008, he was JSPS Fellow in Anthropology at the Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture (Nagoya, Japan). His research focuses mainly on the themes of religion and politics, international relations, religious violence, catastrophic events, conspiracy theories and militant extremism, and the study of martial arts and warfare. He gives lectures and seminars and has published several books and articles in scientific journals of sociology, anthropology, and political science.
Francesco Rossi, Ph.D.
Member of the Research Pool
Francesco is post-doctoral researcher in Criminal Law (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid). Former post-doc at the University of Ferrara, at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia and at the University of Luxembourg, he is also a member of MacroCrimes (Centre for European Legal Studies on Macro-Crime) and analyst for EU Law Live. He has been a Visiting Scholar at the Universities of Luxembourg, Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM), Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) and Saint-Louis, Brussels. He participated in the research projects “Fight Against International Terrorism. Discovering European Models of Rewarding Measures to Prevent Terrorism” and “La ejecución de las penas por delitos de terrorismo”.
Niccolò Petrelli, Ph.D.
Senior Research Fellow
Niccolò is Research Fellow and Professor of Strategic Studies at the Department of Political Sciences, University of Roma Tre. He previously held positions at several academic and military institutions in Italy and abroad: he was Eisenhower Defense Fellow at NATO Defense College, post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC), lecturer in International Politics at the University of Leeds, Visiting Scholar at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) in Herzliya, and military researcher at the Military Center for Strategic Studies in Rome (Ce.Mi.S.S.). He has also conducted research on behalf of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Joint Defense Staff. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Roma Tre (2013). His contributions have been published, among others, in: The Journal of Strategic Studies, Intelligence & National Security, Small Wars & Insurgencies, the International History Review, IAI Papers. He is the author of two books: Israel, Strategic Culture and the Conflict with Hamas: Adaptation and Military Effectiveness, 1987-2014 (Routledge, 2017) and Grand Strategy and the Future of the US-China Competition (Lugano, START InSight / Europa Atlantica, 2021). Currently, his main research interests cover grand strategy, strategic planning and intelligence affairs.