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Elena Saraceno holds a Doctorate in Sociology and a Master in Social Sciences (Economics and Sociology)

Before joining the European Commission in 1999, she had been director of CRES srl, an independent research organisation on social and economic affairs, in Udine, Italy. She was professor of Regional Development at the University of Ancona, and lecturer in the Universities of Rome, Bologna and Udine. She has published extensively on agriculture and rural development, migration, endogenous development, mountain areas. She has undertaken research, training, and consultant activities for public administrations in most EU Member States and some developing countries (Latin America, China, Turkey).

She has worked as expert and consultant in rural development, providing assistance to governments and international organisations (World Bank, OECD, FAO, and the Turkish Government).

Until 2006 she has worked for the European Commission, initially in the Group of Policy Advisers (formerly Forward Studies Unit), with responsibility for matters related to Sustainable Development, Agricultural Policy, Employment, Migration, Regional Policy, and then in the Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development, contributing to the Strategic Guidelines, compliance with the Lisbon Agenda, the policy regulations for the 2007-2013 programming period and ongoing research on rural development.

Elena Saraceno is currently adviser on agricultural and rural policy in BEPA (Bureau of European Policy Advisers) of the European Commission.