The Rectorate is one of USI’s central bodies together with the University Council and the Academic Senate. The Rectorate, led by the Rector, ensures the overall smooth functioning of the University and elaborates planning and development acts.


Members and functions

The Rectorate comprises of the Rector, the Secretary General, the Administrative Director, the Adjunct Administrative Director, and the Pro-Rectors. Its functions are stated in the Statute of the Università della Svizzera italiana (in Italian). 


A transitional phase is currently underway at the University led by the Deputy Rector, who is co-assisted by the Pro-Rectors, including an Assistant Pro-Rector (more information). At the same time, reorganisation is also taking place at an administrative level whereby the functions of Secretary General, Administrative Director and Deputy Administrative Director are currently carried out by a Transition Committee (more information).


Current members

Lorenzo Cantoni

Deputy Rector, Pro-Rector for Education and Students' Experience

Lorenzo Cantoni is Full Professor at the Faculty of Communication, Culture and Society. He is director of the Institute of Digital Technologies for Communication (ITDxC), of the Master in Digital Fashion Communication and of the Master in International Tourism. His research interests are where communication, education and new media overlap, ranging from computer mediated communication to usability, from eLearning to eTourism and digital Fashion, from ICT4D to eGovernment. He is chair-holder of the UNESCO chair in ICT to develop and promote sustainable tourism in World Heritage Sites, established at USI in 2013. Lorenzo Cantoni has been Dean of the Faculty of Communication, Culture and Society (2010-2014) and President of IFITT - International Federation for IT in Travel and Tourism (2014-January 2018). 

Personal page and contact


Cesare Alippi

Pro-Rector for Internationalisation

Cesare Alippi is Full Professor at USI Faculty of Informatics and at Politecnico di Milano (Italy), visiting professor at the Guandong University of Technology, Guangzhou (China) and Advisory Professor at the Northwestern Polytechnic in Xi'An (China). He has been visiting researcher/professor at UCL (United Kingdom), MIT (United States), ESPCI (France), CASIA (China), A*STAR (Singapore) and UKobe (Japan). Alippi is an IEEE Fellow, Member of the Administrative Committee of the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society, Board of Governors of the International Neural Network Society. He has served the IEEE CIS in various roles, including serving as Vice-President for education and coordinating multiple committees, including the Awards committee. Alippi has received several international accolades including the International Neural Networks Society Gabor award and several best paper awards. Current research activity addresses adaptation and learning in non-stationary environments, graph-basd learning and Intelligence for embedded, cyber-physical systems and IoT. He holds 8 patents, has published a monograph book (also translated in Chinese), 7 edited books and is (co-) author of about 200 scientific papers in international journals and conference proceedings.

Personal page and contact


Patrick Gagliardini

Pro-Rector for Research

Patrick Gagliardini (1974) is Full Professor of Econometrics at USI Faculty of Economics. In 1998 he graduated in Physics at the Polytechnical School in Zurich (ETHZ). In 2003 he earned a PhD from the Faculty of Economics of USI with his thesis in Econometrics on the modelling of nonlinear dynamics. He then spent a year in Paris as visiting fellow at the Laboratoire de Finance-Assurance of CREST (Paris) with a SNSF research grant. Between 2004 and 2006 he held an assistant professor position at the Faculty of Economics of University of St. Gallen, and between 2008 and 2012 he served as Junior Chair of the Swiss Finance Institute (SFI). He also served as Dean of USI Faculty of Economics from September 2015 until August 2019. His research interests focus on econometrics and especially financial econometrics, and the results of his research have been published in the main scientific journals in the field. Since 2017 he has been a Fellow of the Society for Financial Econometrics (SoFiE). Patrick Gagliardini is Pro-Rector for Research from September 2019.

Personal page and contact


Luca Maria Gambardella

Pro-Rector for Innovation and Corporate Relations

Luca Maria Gambardella holds a degree in Informatics and a PhD in engineering sciences and technology, developing a strong interest in artificial intelligence. In Lugano, he is Full Professor at the USI Faculty of Informatics and IDSIA ( Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence USI-SUPSI), an institute of 90 people that he directed for 25 years until 2020, and also the Director of the USI Master in Artificial Intelligence. Gambardella has published more than 300 publications (google-scholar, h-index 72, > 58000 citations) and is studying machine learning and developing algorithms inspired by the behaviour of ants applied to logistic problems. He has successfully negotiated, conducted and implemented several artificial intelligence and machine learning projects funded by Swiss and international research agencies and companies. He is co-founder of Artificialy SA, a company based in Lugano where he holds the position of Chief Technology Officer. He writes novels and creates digital art installations.

Personal page and contact


Sonja Hildebrand

Pro-Rector for Research in the Humanities and Equal Opportunities

Sonja Hildebrand is Full Professor for the History of modern and contemporary architecture at USI Academy of Architecture and member of the Board of the Institute of the History and Theory of Art and Architecture (ISA). She obtained her PhD in Art History at TU München in 1997 where she habilitated in 2008. Before joining USI in 2011 she held research and teaching positions at TU München, Universität Bamberg, Universität Zürich and ETH Zürich. She was Vice Dean for Research at the Academy of Architecture from 2017 to 2020 and served her Faculty and USI in various functions, amongst others as a co-President of the Accademy Doctoral Board, member of the Accademy Teaching Commission and USI Research Commission. Her research focuses on the history of architectural culture and theory of the 19th and 20th centuries. She was responsible for various research projects at TU München, ETH Zürich and USI funded by the SNSF and other Swiss and German research agencies. Currently she leads an SNSF project on Gottfried Semper’s main theoretical work „Der Stil“ (with Philip Ursprung, ETH Zürich). She published widely on the history of modern architecture and urbanism, architectural theory and education. Her publications include two monographs and ten edited volumes.

Personal page and contact


Giorgio Margaritondo

Assistant Pro-Rector

Giorgio Margaritondo (1946) is Professor Emeritus at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), where he had been Full Professor of Applied Physics, Director of the Department of Physics from 2000 to 2001, Associate Dean of the School of Basic Sciences from 2001 to 2004, Vice-president of Academic Affairs from 2004 to 2010 and Director of Continuing Education from 2010 to 2016. After graduating in Physics at the University of Rome in 1969, he worked as researcher at the National Research Council in Rome (1969-1978) and at Bell Laboratories in the United States (1975-1977). Before joining EPFL in 1990 he was Professor at the University of Wisconsin Madison (1978-1990). To name a few, he is member of the American Physical Society, the American Vacuum Society, the Swiss Physical Society (SPS) and of the Institute of Physics (IOP, London). He was Vice-President of the USI Council and he chaired the initiative of the European Commission “Integrating activity on synchrotron and free electron laser science”.

Personal page


Giovanni Zavaritt

Member of the Transition Committee

Giovanni Zavaritt (1979) holds a PhD in Political Communication and an Executive Master of Science in Communications Management. From 2014 to 2019 he was Head of Communication at USI. Since 2015 he has been member of the Board of the Science et Cité foundation. Giovanni Zavaritt is Secretary General of USI from September 2019.

Personal page and contact


Antoine Turner

Member of the Transition Committee

Antoine Turner (1963) is Adjunct Administrative Director of USI and General Manager of the Mendrisio campus (Administrator of the Academy of Architecture), since December 2002. In this function, he is in charge of the administration of academic studies (admissions, management and organisation of courses, examinations and students, and academic mobility), of the front desk, of human resources, of campus logistics, and of finances (budget and accountancy). He graduated in Economics at the University of St. Gallen (HSG), with a major in Finance and Accountancy and a dissertation on international marketing. From 1986 to 2002, he was employed in the corporate sector in financial and administrative management positions.

Personal page and contact


Past members


  • Boas Erez, former Rector (1 September 2016 - 9 May 2022)


Other members of the Rectorate

  • Michele Lanza, former Pro-Rector for Information Development (1 January 2017 - 30 September 2019)
  • Daniela Mondini, former Pro-Rector for Research in the Humanities and Equal Opportunities (1 January 2017 - 31 December 2020)
  • Albino Zgraggen, former Secretary General (1 September 2017 - 30 April 2019)