Office Bearers

This is the Board of Directors of the Italian Buddhist Union for the three-year period 2019-2021

The Assembly of the Centers of the Italian Buddhist Union has elected the new Board of Directors for the three-year period 2019-2021. The new directors are: Filippo Scianna (of the Vajrayana-Tibetan Buddhist tradition), Stefano Bettera (Theravada), Carlo Tetsugen Serra (Soto Zen), Elena Seishin Viviani (Soto Zen), Giovanna Giorgetti (Vajrayana-Tibetan), Rita Nichele (Vajrayana-tibetan) and Aldo Marzano (Vajrayana-tibetan).

On April, 13, 2019, the Board of Directors appointed Filippo Scianna as the new President of the U.B.I.

On April, 23, 2019, the Board of Directors appointed Giovanna Giorgetti and Elena Seishin Viviani as the two vice-presidents.

The Board of Directors

Filippo Scianna
General Affairs

Mr. Scianna is lawyer with a Master degree in family, civic and criminal mediation from the University of Padua.  From 1998 till 2012 he worked for a British multinational insurance company. From 2002 till 2012 he served as director of the Tara Cittamani School of Buddhist Psychology and Philosophy of the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) in Padua. From 2012 till 2019 he served as Director of the Lama Tzong Khapa Institute of Pomaia.

Rev. Elena Seishin Viviani
Vice President
Cult Department
Centers Coordination and Service

Holds a degree in German Studies, and started practicing Buddhism in 1982 under rev. F. Taiten Guareschi; in 2000 she continued her studies with rev. M. Daido Strumia, and is his sole Dharma successor. She completed the monastic training required by her Tradition by attending spiritual retreats in France, the USA and Japan, and has served as Kokusai Fukyōshi of the Zen Sōtō Order since 2011. She is the current spiritual leader of the Enkuji Tempe in Turin. She collaborates with the Shōbōzan Fudenji monastery, where she holds the position of Tanto, and teaches at the Catechetical Theology Seminary. She has been active in the field of interreligious dialogue for years, is a member of the City of Turin Interfaith Committee, and the monastic interreligious dialogue organization D.I.M.

Giovanna Giorgetti
Vice President
Institutional Relations
Events Department
Centers Coordination and Service
Administration and Finance

She earned a degree in Economics from the Bocconi University of Milan and a Master in applied mathematical modeling in economics and social sciences. She taught mathematics and statistics at a post-graduate school, and thereafter worked in the Studies and Strategies Office of Montedison. As a social and union activist, she served as director of CGIL Lombardia trade union, where she started dealing with the chemicals industry, followed by the textiles industry and lastly the confederation. At the end of 1999, when His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrived in Milan, she started to attend the Ghe Pel Ling – Institute of Tibetan Buddhism, where she studied under Ven. Thamthog Rinpoche. She was member of the Institute Board of Directors and served as President from 2008 till the 2019 election of the Italian Buddhist Union Board of Directors.

Stefano Davide Bettera
European Institutional Relations

Mr. Bettera is a journalist and published author of Il Buddha era una persona concreta (Rizzoli, 2019), Fai la cosa giusta (Morellini, 2018), and Felice come un Buddha (Morellini, 2017). He also writes articles for Yoga Journal Italia and Secular Buddhist Network. He studied ancient Buddhism at the Bodhi College and is a member of international organizations such as Zen Peacemaker International. As Vice President of the European Buddhist Union, he collaborates with the European Commission in Brussels, and the Council of Europe Conference of INGOs in Strasburg.

Aldo Marzano
Centers Coordination and Service
8×1000 Department

Holds a Political Science degree with emphasis on sociology, serves as Director of the Kunpen Lama Gangchen since 2012, and has been in charge of its Legal (Milan) and Operational Headquarters (Albagnano di Bee) since 19 December 2015.  He personally filed a petition with the Ministry of Internal affairs requesting recognition of the Association as a legal entity, which was granted in 2014. In 2014 he became a member of the Italian Buddhist Union 8×1000 Commission, and thereafter was elected to serve on the Strategy Committee. He retired in 2010, after a long career (1974-2010) in the insurance market, where he held executive positions in the Liability and Property sectors and within that context also fulfilled institutional roles for different Ministries and Public Safety offices.

Rita Nichele
8×1000 Department
Administration and Finance

Practices at the Via di Diamante (Diamond Way) of the Center in Brescia, and found Refuge in 2000 with the 17th Karmapa, His Holiness Taye Dorje. The same year she met Lama Ole Nydahl, and became his pupil. Over her twenty years of practice, she received several initiations from the great Lamas of the Karma Kagyu tradition and attended several practice retreats. She is among the founders of the Via di Diamante Foundation and Presidente of Il Melo Onlus, a social cooperative that provides elder care and vocational training.

Carlo Tetsugen Serra
Events Department
Centers Coordination and Service

He is an Italian Zen Buddhist monk, and a sanctioned missionary (Kokusai Fukyōshi) of the Soto Zen School (Sōtōshū). For four years he lived at Toshoji monastery (Japan), which belongs to the lineage of Harada Daiun Sogaku (原田祖岳, 1871-1961). Tetsugen Serra founded the Sangha della Foresta di Bambù, and the monasteries of Enso-Ji Il Cerchio (Milan), Sanè bo-ji Berceto (Parma), Tempio SokuzenJi Orazen (Padua), Tempio Ten Shin (Naples). He is the author of several books and publications regarding Zen in the western world, and the founder of the #URBANZEN #Bpeace movement.

The Secretariat

Clara De Giorgi – UBI Secretariat Manager – Administration Department
Nadia Saghir – Administration Department
Gabriel D’Angelo – Administration Department
Nicola Cordone – Interreligious Dialogue Secretariat