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Dr. Sandro Dernini CV



Since early 2000, Dr. Dernini is fostering an enduring transdisciplinary dialogue among international and Mediterranean experts on the revitalization of the Mediterranean diet as a sustainable diet model in the context of the improvement of the sustainability of food systems in the Mediterranean region.



  • 1974: Laurea in Biological Sciences, University of Cagliari
  • 1976: Teaching Habilitation in Natural Sciences, Chemistry, Geography, Italian Ministry of Education
  • 1997: Ph.D in Art Education, School of Education, New York University.


  • Present - 2005, Chairperson, Forum on Mediterranean Food Cultures, under which he co-organized and coordinated the scientific programme of the Second World Conference on the Revitalization of the Mediterranean Diet on “Strategies Towards More Sustainable Food Systems in the Mediterranean Region. The Mediterranean Dieta s a Lever for Bridging Consumption and Production in a Sustainable and Healthy Way”, Palermo, May 2019;


  • Present - 2019, Coordinator of the Coordination Desk of  the SFS-MED Platform (Sustainable Food Systems Platform), an affiliated project of the United Nations One Planet Sustainable Food Systems Programme,  hosted at the CIHEAM-Bari,  under establishment by CIHEAM, FAO and the Union for the Mediterranean.
  • Present - 2018, Senior Advisor of the Director, CIHEAM-Bari, under which he manages as liaison the CIHEAM’s office at the FAO Headquarters in Rome.
  • Present – 2014, Secretary-General, International Foundation of Mediterranean Diet (IFMeD), under which he co-organized and coordinated the scientific programme of the First World Conference of the Mediterranean Diet on “ Revitalizing the Mediterranean Diet: From a Healthy Dietary Pattern to a Healthy Mediterranean Sustainable Lifestyle”, Milan, July 2016.
  • Dec 2017 -  August 2014, Programme Officer Sustainable Food Systems, FAO, under which  he developed the project document for the inclusion  of a  Sustainable Food Systems (SFS) Programme within the 10 Year Framework of Programmes (10YFP) on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) of the United Nations, later called the One Planet Network; he prepared the FAO/CIHEAM concept note for  the development of voluntary guidelines for the sustainability of the Mediterranean Diet in the Region; he prepared the CIHEAM/FAO white paper “ Mediterranean food consumption patterns: diets, environment, society, economy and health' for the EXPO Milan 2015 Feeding Knowledge Programme; Acted as secretary to the FAO/UNEP working group on Sustainable Food Systems Program
  • In 2014, he received the IACON-SENC Award for Excellence on Food Sustainability  at the III World Congress of Public Health Nutrition, held in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
  • July 2014 – March 2010, International Consultant, FAO, under which he prepared the concept note on sustainable diets and biodiversity and their assessment; prepared the concept note for the international conference on “ Biodiversity and Sustainable Diets, United Against Hunger”, held in 2010, where an international scientific consensus position was reached on the definition of “sustainable diets”; he acted as secretary to the FAO working group to liaise  with the Agri-Food Task Force on Sustainable Consumption and Production towards the establishment of a Sustainable Food Systems Programme within the 10YFP-SCP Programmes; Provided support to the development of a collaboration with the CIHEAM of Bari on the Mediterranean Diets a case study for sustainable diets’ assessment.
  • 2011-2008, Professor, School of Specialization in Food Science, Sapienza University of Rome
  • 2010-2007, Head of the Office of the President, Italian National Research Institute on Food and Nutrition, under which he prepared a three year research plan for the National Nutrition Institute, and developed a proposal for the Italian Ministry of Agriculture for the acknowledgement by UNESCO of the Mediterranean diet as an intangible heritage;
  • In 2007, he was appointed by the Minister of Agriculture of Italy as a member of the Italian Technical Committee for the inclusion of the Mediterranean Diet in the UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. 
  • From 2011 to 2006, Coordinator,  CIISCAM (International Interuniversity Centre for Mediterranean Food Cultures Studies), established by the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the University of Tuscia in Viterbo, the University of Calabria, and the University of Parma
  • 2002 -  2000, International Consultant, FAO, under which he developed a concept framework for the creation of a FAO Network of the Centres of Excellences on Food Quality, Safety and Nutrition.
  • 1999 - 1995, Coordinator, Consortium on the Well-Being in the XXI Century, under which  on the occasion of the 1996 World Food Summit, in collaboration with the FAO Food and Nutrition Division, he organized  the special event” From Welfare to Well Being: Eating Art, Get the Best From Your Food, Food For All”, at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni of Rome, November 1996.
  • 1999 - 1994, Coordinator, Interdepartmental Well-Being Study Centre on the Quality of Life of the University of Cagliari, under which he organized and coordinated the scientific programme of three international symposia on Food Security and Well-Being in the XXI Century.
  • 1992-1989: Coordinator, Christopher  Columbus  Consortium, New York, under which the occasion of 500th Anniversary of Columbus’, he organized the International Columbus Reconciliation Forum on the Well-Being in the XXI Century, Island of San Pietro, Sardinia, Italy, October 1992.
  • 1980-1982, Executive Director, Centre for Italian Contemporary Culture, New York University.
  • 1979-1974, Researcher, Institute of Biochemisty, Sapienza University of Rome

Since early 80s, Sandro Dernini is coordinating   Plexus International, an informal network of artists and scientists that is still playing a seminal role in the conception and realization of  numerous collaborative,  cross-cultural, art&science events, linking the notion of  "art" and “food” to  the concept of  "well-being" - as a multicultural paradigm enhancing the quality of life in the community.