Structure and Board of Governors

Structure of the Foundation

The Foundation is headed by a President appointed by the Board of Governors, all of whom are distinguished jurists. The constitution of the Foundation is governed by its Statute. The President is assisted by Managers in the conduct of daily business. The Foundation is supported in its work by Senior Counsellors, who advise the Board on matters particularly related to fundraising. The members of the Board, Managers and Senior Counsellors act on a pro bono basis.

The Board of Governors

President of the UNIDROIT Foundation

Professor Jeffrey Wool is the secretary general of the Aviation Working Group, the leading organisation advancing international aircraft financing and leasing. He acts in that capacity on secondment from Holland & Knight, where he is a partner and the firm’s director of international law and policy.

Vice-President of the UNIDROIT Foundation

Professor Don Wallace, Jr. Professor Emeritus and Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University Law School.

  • Regional Legal Advisor for the Middle East and Deputy Assistant General Counsel to AID in the Department of State (1962-66)
  • Founding board member of the International Development Law Organization in Rome
  • Head of the International Law Institute since 1970.
  • Chair of the Advisory Committee on World Trade and Technology to the Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress (1976-79)
  • Currently a member of the Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on Private International Law,
  • U.S. Delegate to UNCITRAL, and a correspondent of UNIDROIT.

Secretary of the Uniform Law Foundation

Professor Kurt Siehr Independent Research Scholar, Max-Planck-Institute for Foreign and Private International Law

  • Professor of Law (private law, private international law, comparative law), University of Zürich (Switzerland) since 1991 as full professor of law (with tenure) and Emeritus Professor since 2002.
  • Professor Siehr has taught also at the University of Geneva (1985-1986), at the Universities of Southampton, Rome and Tel Aviv, at the Asser Institute Den Haag, and at the Dubrovnik Center.
  • Correspondent Unidroit, Rome.
  • He has also participated extensively in the work of the Hague Conference on Private International Law as the Representative of Germany.

Treasurer of the Uniform Law Foundation

Professor Ignacio Tirado, Secretary-General, UNIDROIT

  • Founding member of the European Banking Institute
  • Director and Member of the Executive Committee at the International Insolvency Institute
  • International Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy
  • PhD degree in Civil Procedure from the at the University of Bologna, Italy
  • PhD degree in Commercial Law from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain
  • LL.M. degree from University College London in Commercial and Corporate Law

Other Members of the Board

Dr. Georges Affaki, Avocat, Partner at AFFAKI AVOCATS.

  • Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and Fellow of the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA).
  • Chairman of the Banking Commission of ICC France and Chairman of the ICC Legal Committee.
  • Member of the ICC International Court of Arbitration (Term starting July 1, 2017).
  • Associate Professor of law at the University of Paris II and visiting lecturer at Queen Mary University of London and University Paris-Dauphine.
  • ICC delegate to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Working Group VI.
  • Member of the Council of the Institute of World Business Law.
  • Member of the Advisory Board of the Queen Mary-UNIDROIT Institute of Transnational Commercial Law.

Mr Claude Brandes Ex Vice President Customer Finance for Far East, China, India, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America with Airbus

  • Mr Brandes joined Airbus 18 years ago and since then has been involved in many aircraft financing transactions around the world, namely in Latin America and Asia. He has also been responsible for relations with the Governments providing Export credit to Airbus customers.
  • Co-Chairman of the Aviation Working Group set up in 1995 (the AWG is a not-for profit organization of thirty Companies involving all the major airframe and engine manufacturers, the main leasing Companies and a number of financial institutions) in order to promote the adoption of what it now known as the Cape Town Convention.

Mr. Alban Caillemer du Ferrage Partner, Jones Day, France

  • University of Paris I (DEA [postgraduate degree] in Business and Private Law)
  • Associate professor at the University of Paris II
  • Specialised in derivatives-based structured finance, market infrastructures, banking and finance, and capital markets
  • French counsel to the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA)
  • Member of the Banking Law Committee of the IBA and Liaison Officer of Unidroit
  • Member of The Hague P.R.I.M.E. Finance’s panel of arbitrators and international market experts
  • Member of the “Markets and Exchanges” Consultative Commission of the French Monetary and Financial Authority (AMF)

Mr. Antonio De Palmas President of Boeing Italy and Managing Director Boeing Southern Europe

  • Former President EU and NATO Relations, Vice-President Boeing International
  • Former Director of Communications Southern Europe at Boeing International
  • Former Business Development Director at Cisco Systems
  • Former EU and Government Affairs Director at Oracle
  • Mr De Palmas holds a law degree from the University of Cagliari, a Degree in International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and also a degree in International Policy Analysis and European Integration from Trinity College Dublin

Professor Louise Gullifer QC (Hon) FBA, Rouse Ball Professor of English Law at the University of Cambridge

      • Rouse Ball Professor of English Law at the University of Cambridge and a fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.
      • Associate member of 3VB
      • Founding director of the Commercial Law Centre at Harris Manchester College and executive director of the Secured Transaction Law Reform Project, as well as the Oxford academic lead of the Cape Town Convention Academic Project
      • Formerly UK delegate to both UNCITRAL (working group VI) during its work on secured transactions
      • UK delegate to the UNIDROIT conferences on the Cape Town Convention
      • Co-chair of the Academic Committee of the International Insolvency Institute
      • Member of the International Academy of Commercial and Consumer Law

Mr Marcello Gioscia Senior Partner, Studio Legale Ughi & Nunziante, admitted to the Court of Cassation, Italy

      • LLM from Columbia University Law School.
      • Specialised in Banking and Finance and Corporate Law.
      • Former Co-Chairman of the Banking Committee of the IBA
      • Member of the Panel of the American Arbitration Association, of the Advisory Board of the Secured Transactions Project of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and a Member of the Council of the AEDBF

Professor Maria Chiara Malaguti, President, UNIDROIT

  • Full Professor of International law at Università Cattolica Sacro Cuore (Italy).
  • Director of the ALTEMS Master for legal competences in health. L
  • Legal advisor to the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs and to the World Bank.
  • Previously, she has been a senior legal expert at the European Central Bank, as well as legal assistant to the Italian Judge at the European Court of Justice.
  • She practices as an attorney in Rome.
  • She holds degrees in law and in economics, an LLM from Harvard Law School and a PhD from the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, Italy.
  • Beyond Italian, she regularly works in English, French and Spanish. She understands German and Portuguese and has some knowledge of Arabic. She has published extensively.


Professor Carla Sieburgh Justice in the Supreme Court of the Netherlands

      • Professor of Private law in particular the influences of European Law on national private law, Radboud University Nijmegen
      • Author of four treatises on the Dutch Law of Obligations in the authoritative Asser-series on Dutch Patrimonial law
      • Initiative to and editor of “A Ius Commune Casebook on European Law and Private Law”, researching and bringing together relevant case law of national courts of 11 Member States
      • Former member of the board of AMMODO, a foundation that stimulates the development of arts and sciences
      • Former manager research program “Business and Patrimonial law”, Radboud University Nijmegen
      • Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
      • Member of the Academia Europaea

Senior Counsellors to the Foundation: 

Michael Farley

Michael Farley, Senior Counsellor for the UNIDROIT Foundation, is Senior Consultant for EMD Consulting Group LLC. He is an executive with 30+ years experience in senior and C level management positions in the nonprofit sector. His positions have included Chief Development Officer for the American Society of International Law, CEO of the St. Louis Regional Chapter of the American Red Cross, and Vice President of the American Red Cross National Headquarters leading Disaster Fundraising and training field-based chapters in sustainable fund development.

Michael holds a master’s degree in Political Science and Urban Affairs from St. Louis University, a leadership certificate from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in Nonprofit Management, and has been a certified fundraising executive (CFRE) of the International Association of Fundraising Professionals since 1990.

His experience and achievement in planning, operations, fundraising, media relations and board development have earned him multiple awards, including the American Red Cross Tiffany Award for Excellence in Leadership, and the Taproot Foundation Award of Excellence for providing consulting services to nonprofit organisations throughout the DC metro area.

Marco Nicoli

Marco Nicoli is currently Special Advisor to the Director of OECD Development Centre, with a focus on the coordination of the Human-Centred Business Model Project. He is also a Senior Counsellor at the UNIDROIT Foundation and guest lecturer at LUMSA University in Rome.

Marco was formerly Senior Project Manager at the World Bank Legal Vice-Presidency, where he worked for a total of 16 years. Prior to joining the World Bank in April 2002, he worked in Italy as an economist at the Research Department of the Italian Central Bank on issues related to the business sector as well as international economy. He later committed himself to social initiatives and built relevant experiences within the NGO sector.

His main experiences abroad include with UNDP (Republic of Mali), at the European Union (Belgium), with Rogers & Wells Law Firm (Washington D.C.), for Yale University (as visiting professor in the Slovak Republic) and, as International Business Consultant in Central European countries (Romania, Hungary, Bosnia Herzegovina, Slovakia).

Marco has a multidisciplinary educational in accounting, law and economics, with a master’s degree in international law and Economics and other postgraduate degrees in International Organizations and European Law, author of several publications spanning the different disciplines and themes of work.

Managers of the Foundation: Mr William Brydie-Watson, Mr Hamza Hameed, and Ms Myrte Thijssen