Sylvana Ehrman


Sylvana Ehrman has a political science degree from L’Ecole des Sciences Politiques de Paris and a degree in literature from the University of Lisbon. She is a graduate gemologist and co-founder of the Brazilian Institute of Gemology, Sao Paulo and, in conjunction with Sao Paulo’s art museum, organized an exhibit on “Brazilian Gems and Jewelry.” She was Smithsonian Cultural Liaison for Italy and Portugal during the 1976 Washington, DC Bicentennial celebration. During her husband’s Foreign Service career, she assisted Peruvian anthropology Professor Amat with research on the Chavin civilization and was a docent at the Ayala Museum, Manila. She speaks French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese.

John Kelly

Immediate Past President

John Kelly is an economist consultant in the areas of regulatory and utility economics and has worked for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress and the Council on Wage & Price Stability in the Executive Office the President. From 1984 to 2009 he served as Director of Economics & Research for the American Public Power Association, writing numerous articles and delivering presentations on economic issues and public policies affecting the electric power industry. He has undergraduate and graduate degrees in economics from American University and George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He is a member of the Italian Cultural Society, has served on its Board of Directors and speaks Italian.

Patrick Kidd

Vice President

Patrick Kidd has worked in corporate communications in the passenger rail industry for more than a decade. He earned a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and master’s degrees in City and Regional Planning and Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania. Combining his interests in architecture, historic preservation and the history of Washington, D.C., he has volunteered as a docent at the Tudor Place Historic House and Garden, located in the Georgetown neighborhood of the nation's capital, for more than 20 years.

Richard Marcis


Richard Marcis is a graduate of Wittenberg University and holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Kentucky. He served on the Economics faculty at Bowling Green State University, at Southern Methodist in Dallas and American University in Washington, DC. He is a former president of the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, served as a Senior Economist at a federal financial regulatory agency, was Senior Vice President at a savings and loan association, Senior Consultant for a national consulting company and has published on economic and financial issues in professional journals and trade publications. Now retired, he spends time on his avocation, publishing reviews of Italian wines and travel in Italy on his website,

Jacopo Galeone



Lucy Falcone Hamachek

Member at Large

Lucy Falcone Hamachek is a graduate of Georgetown University in French and economics and pursued graduate studies in economics at the Universite' de Strasbourg as a Fulbright scholar. She served as an economist for Congress' Joint Economic Committee and in various capacities in the U.S. Department of Commerce, including Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy from 1977-1980. She is a student of Italian, having pursued studies both in Italy and the U.S. She has served on the boards of the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) and the Italian Cultural Society (ICS) of Washington, DC. She is a volunteer teacher of English to adult immigrants. She speaks French and Italian.

James Ehrman

Member at Large

James Ehrman spent 22 of his 38 years as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer at postings abroad (France, Italy, Portugal, Brazil, Peru, India, Philippines, Thailand). He headed the State Department’s International Labor Affairs office in 1996-98 and retired after completing his last foreign assignment, Labor Minister Counselor at the American Embassy, Rome. He has a BA in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and did graduate work at Harvard University’s Littauer Center (now the Kennedy School of Government). He speaks French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese.

Giovanna Casagrande

Member at Large

Giovanna Casagrande, Member at Large, graduated with a Master degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Padua (Italy) after completing an exchange-program at Imperial College, London. She obtained a Ph.D. in Bioengineering, developing her studies at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston). Besides focusing on science, she followed one of her other interests by pursuing a B.A. in Journalism and Public Opinion. She worked in Cancer Research at the University of Padua and then at the National Cancer Institute at NIH. She enjoys travelling, photography, art and culture, skiing and swimming and serves as Science and Research Director and Vice-president for Italians in DC, Inc. Besides her native language, Italian, she speaks English and basic Spanish.

Joel Ehrman

Member at Large

Joel Ehrman is a Senior Director of Sales at ARINC Inc, the world's largest aviation communications company. He has 16 years of international sales experience working with airlines and the business aviation community. He holds a degree in gemology from the Federal University of Ouro Preto (Minas Gerais, Brazil) and a degree in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has a special interest in the history of Imperial Rome. Joel speaks French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Thai.

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