Elena joined UNRISD in July 2008 to work with Katja Hujo on the Social Policy and Development Programme.
She holds a Masters degree in Comparative Social Policy from Oxford University and a first degree in International Relations (Honors) from the University of Torino. Her MSc thesis compares the performance of different social policies for unemployed people in Argentina and Chile, examining the extent to which they protect workers of the informal economy.
Before coming to UNRISD, she worked in international development with the Italian NGO CISV, first as Projects Officer in Italy and then as Project Coordinator and Country Representative in Guatemala.
In addition to social protection for workers of the informal economy, her research interests include participatory development through grassroots organizations, rights of indigenous peoples and the role of natural resources in development contexts.
The Hidden Faces of Climate Change (2008), Focus: Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, Bozen/Bolzano: EURAC.
Guatemala in Resistenza (2005), Volontari per lo Sviluppo, August-September.