Giuseppe Conte (Italian pronunciation: [dʒuˈzɛppe ˈkonte]; born 8 August 1964) is an Italian jurist and politician serving as the 58th and current Prime Minister of Italy since 1 June 2018.
A professor of private law, Conte was first proposed on 21 May 2018 for the role of Prime Minister as the head of a coalition government between the Five Star Movement (M5S) and the League. After the two parties agreed on a "government contract", Conte formed his first cabinet on 1 June 2018.
On 20 August 2019, Conte offered his resignation as Prime Minister after the League filed in a motion of no-confidence against its own government; subsequently, however, M5S and the centre-left Democratic Party agreed to form a new coalition government with Conte remaining in his position as Prime Minister. He was reappointed as Prime Minister of his second cabinet on 5 September.
Conte's first Cabinet, which included Five Star's leader Luigi Di Maio and the League's leader Matteo Salvini, was considered by many newspapers such as The New York Times and la Repubblica as the first populist government in modern Western Europe. Moreover, he was the first person to assume the premiership without prior government or administrative service since Silvio Berlusconi in 1994 and the first Prime Minister from Southern Italy since the Christian Democrat Ciriaco De Mita in 1989. Conte has been often nicknamed "the lawyer of the people" (l'avvocato del popolo), as he defined himself during his first speech as Prime Minister.
Early life and career
Conte was born on 8 August 1964 into a middle class family at Volturara Appula, near Foggia. His father Nicola was a public employee in the local municipality while his mother Lillina Roberti was an elementary school teacher.
After his family moved to San Giovanni Rotondo, Conte attended the Classical Lyceum "Pietro Giannone" in nearby San Marco in Lamis and then studied Law at the Sapienza University of Rome, where he graduated in 1988 with distinction. For short terms, Conte studied abroad. In 1992, he moved to the United States to study at Yale Law School and Duquesne University and at the International Culture Institute in Vienna in 1993. He later researched or lectured at Sorbonne University in 2000, Girton College, Cambridge in 2001 and New York University in 2008.
He started his academic career during the 1990s, when he taught at Roma Tre University, at LUMSA University of Rome, at the University of Malta and at the University of Sassari. Conte is currently professor of private law at the University of Florence and at LUISS of Rome. He sits on the board of trustees of John Cabot University in Rome.
On 18 September 2013, he was elected by the Chamber of Deputies as a member of the Bureau of Administrative Justice, the self-governing body of administrative magistrates.