Romano Prodi is the former Prime Minister of Italy and former President of the European Commission. After serving as a Professor of Economics at the University of Bologna, he entered government as Minister of Industry in 1978 and was appointed Prime Minister in 1996. In 1999 he obtained the role of President of the European Commission, overseeing the EU’s expansion to include Malta, Cyprus, and eight eastern and central European members. In 2004, he returned to Italian politics and in 2006 was sworn in as Prime Minister for the second time. In 2012, he was appointed by the UN Secretary General as his Special Envoy for the Sahel.