Annamaria D'Ascenzo

Annamaria d'Ascenzo was first woman prefect in Italy and in the world

About me

NAME: Annamaria D'Ascenzo


CITY: Rome



ACTION/SECTOR: Politics & Goverment

POSITION: Last position:Head of the Department of the Fire Department

ORGANIZATION: Council of Ministers

My Background and Career

I was born in Asmara (Eritrea) on 7/17/1940, where my parents had moved and just married. One month after I was born, my father died. So my brother and I became orphans, but with the fortune of having an extraordinary mother.
We returned to Italy in 1950. We were very very poor and I was able to study in high school and University, with the exemption of school fees because I was a war orphan.
I married one year after I graduated. I have a wonderful daughter. I'm divorced now, but I have still an excellent relationship with my ex-husband.



My Experience

In 2001, I returned to Ministry of Interior as Head of the Department of Immigration (until 2006). I ended my career in 2007 as Head of Department of the Fire Brigade. I was the 4th most important Prefect in the Ministry, having only three other Prefects who held a more relevant position (Chief of Staff, Personnel Director and Chief of Police).
Since my first work experience, I thought I could not let people “walk over me” and disrespect me; I just worked very hard, without distraction or without being superficial, avoiding to make mistake.
When I committed to the Prefectural career, there were only men in the management and a rule prevailed: "Women should not talk to men" and those of the higher level of the prefectural career would not talk to people of lower positions. Over time, always smiling and with wisdom, I worked for these rules to be overcome.
I coordinated the personnel with much heart and infinite patience; I was very severe when it was necessary and I never deceived anyone with false promises.
I was often hated, but time has proved me right and even now, after 8 years of retirement, people retain good memories of me.
I could manage serious emergencies in the country, even when the Civil Defense did not exist yet, thanks to the direct knowledge of the people who I coordinated.
In a few hours after tragic events like the Irpinia earthquake, I sent always the most capable officers in the affected area.
From the very early moments I had the sole purpose to save the life of the people who lived there.



My Skills

Seriousness and determination in the study; culture and knowledge collected during my life; attention and concentration; listening and speaking as little as possible.


Hints & Tips

Try to be as much rational as possible, avoiding mistake and strive to overcome the challenges only for the sake of yourself and not for seeking approuval.


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