Born in Taranto, in 1957. Graduated in Law from the University of Bari in 1982 and after a brief spell doing research at the same University, moved to London in 1984, first as a Visiting Research Scholar at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and then as postgraduate student at the London School of Economics.
Obtained an LL.M. from the University of London in 1986 and joined the European Commission in September 1987.
Worked in trade policy since then, covering a wide range of activities and negotiations: from trade defence to standards, investment, competition, WTO, dispute settlement, relations with Member States and European Institutions.
From 2014 to early 2018, Deputy-Director General of DG Trade, responsible for trade relations concerning services and investment, intellectual property, public procurement, agri-food and fisheries; trade relations with Asia, Latin America and countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific; trade and sustainable development.
Served as Chief Negotiator for the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA); the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement; the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement.
In March 2018 he has been appointed Director General for Climate Action.