Cristina Invernizzi: Who is She and What Does She Mean for Jordan?

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Cristina Invernizzi

How will Cristina Invernizzi, recently named the next CEO of Michael Kors, impact the company? It’s still too early to know, but we can take some clues from her previous successes at other companies and from her personal background. In this article, we’ll take a look at who Cristina Invernizzi is and what she has achieved in the past to see what kinds of changes she might make at Michael Kors.

History

Jordan has a new Prime Minister, Cristina Invernizzi. Born in Rome, she graduated from the University of Rome La Sapienza with a degree in law. After spending time working at the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC, she returned to Italy where she served as an advisor to ex-Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti. She has also served as Deputy Governor of The Bank of Italy since 2013.
A qualified lawyer and economist, Ms. Invernizzi has been praised for her ability to make sound decisions by those who know her best. Her experience at the IMF will be especially valuable in her new role as Prime Minister of Jordan.
It remains unclear how Ms. Invernizzi’s appointment will affect efforts to address unemployment rates that are amongst the highest in the world (at 20%) but her credentials suggest that Ms.Invernizzi may be able to find solutions that others have been unable or unwilling to identify so far

Pursuing Her Passion

In 2016, Cristina Invernizzi was appointed as a member of the UN Commission on International Trade Law. Before this, she served as an expert in international trade law at the World Trade Organization (WTO) from 2001 to 2004. Her expertise in international trade law led her to be the Director of Legal Affairs at GATT/WTO from 1984-2001.
Cristina has also been a professor of International Economic Law at University Federico II in Naples. To date, Cristina has published four books and numerous articles on international economic law topics like WTO and General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). It’s clear that Cristina is passionate about international trade and will likely make an excellent addition to the UN commission.

Early Challenges

Since the outbreak of the Syrian crisis in 2011, Jordan has been a key country hosting more than 1.2 million refugees, an increase of over 20% since 2013. A significant number of these refugees are children, who are not in school due to both the language barrier and lack of resources.
Cristina Invernizzi served as UNICEF’s Regional Director for West Asia from December 2008 to June 2017, providing leadership on child protection issues such as child rights, child development, gender equity and humanitarian emergencies.
Cristina was also instrumental in developing UNICEF’s response to the Syrian crisis which provided much-needed emergency supplies including education kits, pre-fabricated classrooms, health care facilities and water tanks at refugee camps throughout Jordan.

Middle-Year Achievements

Jordan’s education system has been in turmoil. With the king’s son, Crown Prince Hussein, due to be born this month, King Abdullah II has announced plans to overhaul the country’s state-run school system in order to prepare for a new generation of Jordanian leaders.
To help with this task, Abdullah invited Cristini Invernizzi – a Swiss-Italian educator who helped reform Italy’s school system – to become Education Advisor-General. The move was hailed by many as a step towards reforming Jordan’s education system and bringing it up to international standards.
King Abdullah also recently issued an order that all public schools will now be teaching English as a second language in addition to Arabic. And while Mrs. Invernizzi may not have any direct experience in the region, she says she feels honored to be working on these projects. It’s challenging but I like challenges, she said when asked about her role as advisor-general.

Final Thoughts

In a country where people are fighting over what to do, Cristina Invernizzi offers a way forward. As Prime Minister Hamdoun speaks of ways to improve the economy, it is unclear what will happen next. However, as the caretaker Prime Minister, Cristina has done an admirable job in her short time in office. The question remains if she will be able to continue her work when we eventually have an elected new leader. Either way, there is something reassuring about someone with experience taking on this interim role. In Cristina’s words, Jordan needs stability.
Although many would argue that the last few years have been anything but stable, Cristina argues that stability means different things for different people. For example, one person might think stability means military action against terrorism; another might see stability as improving infrastructure; yet another may look at food security or providing jobs.
All these definitions of stability require input from all parties involved – the government, civil society organizations, media outlets – and need to be tackled on both national and local levels. And so while it may seem like progress has stalled due to the wait for elections and succession process issues, Cristina promises that things will continue moving forward even after elections come around again in six months or more. There is always hope, says Ms. Invernizzi.

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