I achieved my PhD at Graduate Institute of International Studies and University of Geneva in 2001. After an assignment with the World Bank in Lithuania, I was a Research Fellow at the London School of Economics (2002-2004), Foreign Associate Researcher at the Institut d’Histoire du Temps Présent in Paris (2004-2005), Academic Fellow - Research Council United Kingdom Academic Fellow - at the School of History, University of St Andrews (2005-2010), and Swiss Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique – Research Professor (2008-2011). Associate professor (2011-2014) and full professor since 2014 at the Graduate Institute, I served as head of the International History Department (2014-2017).
My doctoral thesis was published in Italian in 2003 and in English as Fascism’s European Empire (Cambridge University Press, 2006). I was grantee of the Rockefeller Archives Centre in 2011 and grantee of the SNSF ‘Sinergia’ programme on a project entitled Patterns of Transnational Regulations. I research the history of humanitarianism, international organizations, philanthropic foundations, and international public health since the nineteenth century. In 2011 I published Against Massacre: Humanitarian Interventions in the Ottoman Empire (1815-1914), the Birth of a Concept and International Practice (Princeton University Press).
During the summer of 2012 the Kofi Annan Foundation mandated me to write a confidential report documenting the experience of the United Nations and League of Arab States Joint Special Envoy for Syria. More recently, I co-edited and authored a volume on the History of Humanitarian Photography, a volume on Transnational Networks of Experts in the Long Nineteenth Century, and another on the League of Nations’ Social Work. I recently completed a monograph entitled: Night on Earth – A History of International Humanitarianism in the Near East (1918-1930), (Cambridge University Press, 2021).
From 2017 to 2022 I was the principal investigator of an SNSF project entitled The Myth of Homogeneity and Minority Protection in Belgium, Italy and Spain; and of a second project entitled the Heralds of Globalization: the Rockefeller Foundation Fellows (1910s-1970s).
Since 2019, the History of International Organizations Network Internet HION, a platform I co-funded in 2008, regularly inform on activities related to the Centenary of International Organizations in Geneva. I started a collaboration with the Museum of the Red Cross and co-funded a podcast start-up Utopia3 that collaborates with the Festival International et Forum des Droits Humains.
Since 2020, I am the Head of the Interdisciplinary Programs of the Graduate Institute. I taught for the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale of Lausanne (EPFL), for several Executive Education programmes. and, since 2016 I co-directed first and then directed a Certificate in Advanced Studies on International Advocacy.
I teach for the Graduate Institute Summer School and for the Smith College Geneva Centre (higher undergraduate level). With my colleague Prof. Mohamedou we acted as consultants for Google on a project on the history and politics of racism. Together, we also wrote a study on racist and controversial public spaces commissioned by the City of Geneva.