General-major Mikele Risi
Before taking command of KFOR, Major General Risi of the Italian Army, has been the Defence Advisor to Italian Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Council since 21 July 2016.
Prior to being assigned to the NATO, He was the Commander of the Julia Alpine Brigade and the Multi-National Land Forces Command located in Udine, Italy. While deployed with the Julia Brigade in 2015, he was also the Commander of the Train and Advise Command-West (TAAC-West) Operation Resolute Support, Herat, Afghanistan.
Major General Michele Risi was born in Trieste, Italy in 1965. He began his military career by attending the “Nunziatella” Junior Military Academy. He was commissioned as an Infantry Second Lieutenant after graduating from the Italian Military Academy in 1985.
A career Mountain Infantry Officer (Alpini), Major General Risi has served in key leadership positions at the tactical, operational and strategic levels of the Italian military, NATO and the United Nations to include Commander of ITALFOR XVII and RC-Capital Battle Group 3, Operation ISAF in Afghanistan (2008); Chief Plans of the Strategic Military Cell - Department for Peace Keeping Operations, New York - during the Lebanese crisis of 2006; Chief of Staff of the Kabul Multinational Brigade (2005), Operation ISAF in Afghanistan; and Company Commander in the Operation ONUMOZ in Mozambique. Significant staff assignments within the Italian Army General Staff include serving as Chief, Force Planning Development and Integration Branch and as the Chief of the Land Transformation Department.
His military education includes the Italian Army Application School, the Italian Army Command and Staff Course and the US Army Command and General Staff Course at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, United States. He holds a university degree in Strategic Sciences from the University of Turin and an Advanced Masters Degree in Strategic Studies from the University of Turin. He speaks fluent English and French.
His military awards and decorations include the Military Order of Italy, Italian Army Meritorious Service Silver Cross, the Italian Army Service Golden Cross Medal, the Order of the Italian Republic, the US Legion of Merit, The Order of Merit of the French Republic, Two French Medals of Defence, the Portuguese Silver Cross Medal, The Norwegian Silver Defence medal. He has earned the Italian Military Ski and Mountain Combat Instructor Badge and the Italian Parachutist Badge.
Major General Risi and his wife Cathryn Crompton (Lieutenant Colonel, US Army retired) have a son, Marco Cristiano, currently West Point Cadet United States Military Academy.