Elena Beccalli Elena Beccalli 

Elena Beccalli is the new Rector of Milan's Catholic University of the Sacred Heart

Elena Beccalli, who once studied at the university herself, if the new Rector of Milan's Catholic Univerity of the Sacred Heart

By Vatican News

For the first time in the history of the University of the Sacred Heart in Milan, a women has been appointed Rector. Elena Beccalli will take over  on 1 July, after the painful death on 23 May of her predecessor Franco Anelli. Beccalli was a student at the university that she is now preparing to lead for four years, from 2024 to 2028. She was appointed by the Board of Directors who met on 20 June. The decision of the Board of Directors follows the appointment of Professor Elena Beccalli, alrady serving as Dean of the School of Banking, Finance, and Insurance Sciences, by the University's 12 Faculty Councils on 22 May, with 636 preferences out of a total of 685, corresponding to around 93% of those voting. 

The Cattolica, a 'universal' reference pole

“Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore is a ‘universal’ academic institution by vocation, where dialogue and confrontation are open, free, interdisciplinary, and oriented towards the creation of networks and strategic alliances. It is a University that can offer ‒ with accuracy, creativity, courage ‒ a forward-looking approach to contemporary challenges, thanks to the coordinated efforts of its vibrant academic community”, Professor Beccalli said in thanking the academic staff and the Board of Directors.

“Università Cattolica should have the capacity to renew itself, implementing a process of innovation based on consolidated and recognised roots”, since, she added, “it is called upon to position itself as a reference centre with a strong international outlook, for quality teaching and research, so as to nurture the virtuous circle typical of a research university.

The values of a history

The intention – she continued – “is to ensure that our university is a natural source from which civil society, institutions, the labour market and, furthermore, the Italian and universal Church can draw. A model that can represent the best university ‘for’ the world”. Regarding the future of the Degree programmes, Prof. Beccalli emphasised that “the recognition of the quality of the educational offering will focus, with a long view, on the value of the interdisciplinary hybridisation of the programmes and the innovativeness required by social transformations and the world of work. our tradition, of care for students and enhancing their study experience in welcoming, beautiful, functional, and technologically advanced spaces”.


Elena Beccalli, a 50-year-old alumna of Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, is the ninth Rector of the University, previously the founder Father Agostino Gemelli (1921-1959), Francesco Vito (1959-1965), Ezio Franceschini (1965-1968), Giuseppe Lazzati (1968-1983), Adriano Bausola (1983-1998), Sergio Zaninelli (1998-2002), Lorenzo Ornaghi (2002 -2012), Franco Anelli (2013-2024) held the office.

Full Professor of Financial Intermediaries in the School of Banking, Finance and Insurance Sciences, where she has held the position of Dean since 2014, Elena Beccalli is a research associate of the Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation at the London School of Economics (UK), where previously she was also a tutorial fellow, lecturer and visiting professor. She is an academic fellow at the Centre for Responsible Banking & Finance at the University of St Andrews. She was a visiting professor at the Singapore Institute of Management and at the China Center for Economic Research at Beijing University.

Currently, Professor Beccalli is the Director of the Research Centre on Cooperative Mutual Banking at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. She is the President of the Italian section of the European Society for Banking and Financial Law (AEDBF). She was a member of the Board of Directors of the Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA) and co-President of the European Financial Management Association. She is co-editor of the Journal of Financial Management, Markets, and Institutions.

She is a member of the Scientific Committee of the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation. She is a member of the expert group on socially responsible investment of the Italian Episcopal Conference. She was coordinator of the path leading to the Document Oeconomicae et pecuniariae quaestiones, promoted by Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in collaboration with the Archdiocese of Milan. She was senior expert of the Finance and Humanity Village in the context of The Economy of Francesco. She also participated in the drafting of the document Mensuram Bonam.

Her main areas of scientific focus relate to the banking sector analysed from the perspective of industrial organisation, with particular attention to the themes of technology, efficiency, cooperation and financial biodiversity. In recent years, her studies have focused on issues of ethics and inclusiveness, sustainability, artificial intelligence and women's leadership.

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20 June 2024, 15:39