Valeria Pesce
e-mail: valeriapesce.ita [at]
Present residence: Rome, Italy
Nationality: Italian
   Short CV  


I work as partnerships' facilitator at the Global Forum on Agricultural Research and Innovation (GFAR) and as data scientist in the Statistics Division of FAO, and I'm an ambassador of the GODAN initiative. In recent years I also collaborated with CTA and the World Bank on agricultural data policy issues.
Previously, I represented FAO and GFAR in EC-funded projects on data infrastructures (agINFRA, Big Data Europe) and managed open data platforms in coordination with other global and regional actors.
Currently, my activities range from applying text mining and vocabularies to content classification in the FAO Data Lab, to facilitating a global collective action on farmer-centric digital agriculture for GFAR.
My areas of expertise in the past 17 years have been data sharing, data standardization, the Semantic Web, data infrastructures and more recently data science, data policies and data rights issues, especially concerning agri-food data. I've managed a few projects and project components since 2012 and I'm an ECQA certified EU Project Manager. All projects in which I've worked involved outreach, partner engagement and advocacy activities. 

Work experience

Data scientist and partnerships' facilitator at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. (FAO)

Since April 2019

In the Global Forum on Agricultural Research and Innovation (GFAR): facilitating a global collective action on farmer-centric digital agriculture. 
In the Statistics Division, Methodological Innovations team: techologies and procedures to make statistical classifications Linked Open Data (Caliper project) and contribution to the first FAO Data Lab's product: FAO’s Big Data tool on food chains under the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2019, collaboration with the AIMS team on capacity development on agricultural data management and sharing (MOOCs, webinars).

Data policy researcher for the World Bank

May - July 2019

Research report on digital agriculture data-related policy issues and current policy directions in Europe and Central Asia.

Data flows analyst for the Technical Center for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation (CTA)

September 2018 - December 2019

Occasional consultancy tasks on farmers' data sharing and related ethical, legal and policy issues, in the context of the CTA Data4Ag project.

Project Manager, Information Systems Specialist and convener at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. (FAO)

for the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR)

February 2005 - August 2018

Project management: coordination of work packages and tasks in projects on agricultural data; related agreements, funding proposals, project documentation, coordination of consultants.
Main projects: DFID-funded GODAN Action ( EC-funded agINFRA, H2020 Big Data Europe (

Advocacy and convening: member of the Secretariat of the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) initiative; engagement of stakeholders and facilitatation of partnerships around best data strategies to improve agri-food value chains and empower smallholder farmers; planning and convening of workshops and webinars on the issue of farmers' data rights ( and capacity development activities; presentations and papers on open data in agriculture.

Information systems: design of web-based open data information systems for the agri-food domain; design of vocabularies; Linked Data solutions; Drupal development for information systems; document repository management; participation in initiatives and meetings related to agricultural information systems.
Main projects: CIARD RING (, AgriProfiles (, Map of agri-food data standards (

More in particular, in the last eight years I

  • Engaged partners in a global collective action to empower farmers through equitable data sharing, leading the process resulting in more than 20 partners agreeing on shared vision and initial funds being committed
  • Coordinated GFAR's participation in the UK DFID-funded "GODAN Action" project for improving capacities to use agriculture and nutrition data: planning, monitoring of resources and budget, preparation of deliverables, key research work in Work Package on data standards, development of the Agrisemantics Map of agri-food data standards.
  • Coordinated GFAR and FAO activities in EC-funded projects (agINFRA, Big Data Europe).
  • Participated in the activities of the Secretariat of the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) initiative.
  • Participated in and organized activities (task forces, international conferences) related to the promotion of coherence in agricultural information management and sharing and more recently especially to issues of data rights, especially concerning smallholder farmers.
  • Designed and managed web-based information systems and content management tools leveraging interoperable formats and protocols and semantic technologies. Development of such systems using the Drupal CMS.
    More specifically, I managed the following projects: AgriProfiles, the CIARD RING, semantic components of the agINFRA project funded by the European Commission.
  • Collaborated with partner Institutions on best practices in: a) information systems architecture and infrastructure (protocols, metadata, flows / architecture, technologies, semantic frameworks); b) compliance with internationally applied standards; c) flexible and sustainable information management tools, including content management systems; d) data governance and data rights..


  • As information manager: information dissemination (newsletter, RSS feeds) and exchange (XML exports, RDF), management of document repositories, work on web architectures and semantic web, involvement in agricultural information systems related activities, participation in working groups on information management standards..
  • As webmaster / web architect: web development (Java / JSP / PHP), web design, website mantainance, content management; selection, configuration and management of content management systems (namely, InfoGlue and Drupal), database management (Oracle, MySql);

Freelance web application developer

September 2003 - February 2005
Web design, web programming in PHP, database management (MySql), web server configuration.
Types of websites: e-commerce, content management, ads publishing.

Analyst programmer at Entasi s.p.a. (softwarehouse)

January 2002 – July 2003
Programming in Visual Basic 6.0: - Analysis and development of client/server applications based on TCP protocol (fields: e-learning and “virtual desks”).

Webmaster at Sofinet s.r.l. (Internet provider company)

April 2000 – December 2001
Development of websites and web applications (ASP and DHTML)

Junior programmer at Me.di.ser s.p.a. (data-processing company)

May 1999 – March 2000
Programming in C: warehouse management, employees’ shifts management, marketing statistics for airlines and travel agencies.

Trainee librarian at the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Roma

November 1997 - March 1998
Digital cataloguing of foreign monographic material in SBN (the Italian National Library Service).

Trainee documentalist at the Library of the Regina Elena Institute

October 1997 - February 1998
Searches on online medical databases (Medline, Cancerlit, PDQ). ·

Cataloguer at the ANED, Rome

March - September 1997
Inventory and cataloguing of ANED library using the UNESCO CDS/ISIS software.

Collaborator for the no-profit “Liber Liber” association

Translation into Italian of some chapters (and revision of the full translation) of the EFF Guide to the Internet into Italian (Italian version now available at ·

Teacher of Italian language for foreigners

Substitute teacher at the “Torre di Babele” Italian language school


1988: Graduation from Secondary School (humanities): grades: 60/60. ·
1995: University Degree in Literatures at Universita` “La Sapienza”, Rome: grades: 110/110 cum laude. Thesis in Latin Literature.
1996-1998: Special School for Archivists and Librarians: 7 exams taken out of 10.

Professional development and certifications

ECQA Certification of EU Project Manager competencies

February 2019
Certificate issued by the European Certification and Qualification Associations (ECQA).

Professional training course for C language programmers

November 1998 – April 1999:
EU Social Fund course, 500 hours. C and C++ languages, object oriented programming, visual programming. Relational databases.

Foreign languages

Proficiency in English:
- 1997: Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English, grade B
- 1996: Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English, grade A

Good knowledge of French
Passed FAO exam at level C1

Last updated 28/7/2019

© 2007 - 2021 Valeria Pesce
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