Adriano Campolina is the Chief Executive/Secretary General of ActionAid International and has been working on the civil society leading human rights-based development programmes and campaigns for the past 22 years. He is an agronomist with Masters in Agriculture, Society & Development from Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro . He has been a political activist since a high school student, leading the student’s association in his high school and college and being part of the liberation theology inspired Catholic Youth pastoral and as Minas Gerais State’s Youth Secretary of the Worker’s Party (PT). As a youth leader, Adriano had a strong participation on the Brazilian mobilisations towards democracy, new constitution, public education and agrarian reform in the 80’s and early 90’s.
Mr Campolina started his professional career as dairy farmer worked with local NGOs in country side Brazil where he was born implementing local development programs in many communities. He was also part of a national network on sustainable agriculture, with a strong emphasis on development and conservation of agro-biodiversity, including participating on global negotiations on biodiversity and farmer’s rights led by UN body FAO. Adriano worked as advisor for the national confederation of workers in agriculture (CONTAG), where he was deeply involved on developing rural workers and smallholder farmers and landless movements’ propositions for land reform, smallholder farmer’s credit schemes and other agrarian policies. He was also adviser for CUT, the national central organisation for labour unions, providing political and economic advice. Adriano worked as chief of cabinet for the Worker’s Party (PT) congressman Valdir Ganzer and took part of the party working group on agrarian issues supporting the development of party positions in a range of agricultural and agrarian themes.
Adriano focused his early career on policy issues related to food security, and gradually took over management and leadership position focusing on contributing to the internationalisation of ActionAid through devolution of power to countries. In ActionAid, he has led campaigns, programmes and policy in Brazil; ActionAid international’s trade campaign, the Americas Region and has also been Executive Director of ActionAid Brazil, where he pioneered international fundraising from emerging countries in combination with strong local programmes.