Navigating Change to Elevate Public Administration: Meet EIPA’s Director-General


Marco Ongaro’s journey to becoming the Director-General at EIPA is a testament to his unwavering commitment to digital transformation and organisational management. Having played pivotal roles in diverse sectors, from consulting in Milan to guiding a legal publisher’s digital shift, Marco’s expertise supports EIPA’s mission. As we delve into the challenges and opportunities shaping the public administration landscape, Marco’s leadership at EIPA takes center stage. Read more about Marco’s vision for EIPA and the profound impact it holds for public administration, characterised by collaboration, openness, and a global perspective.

By remaining attuned to evolving needs through ongoing dialogue and understanding, EIPA ensures that its mission to serve the public administration community remains not only relevant but forward-looking and adaptive.

What career path took you to the position of Director-General of EIPA?

My career path leading to the role of Director-General at EIPA has been characterised by a focus on transformation and digitalisation. Starting with electrochemical engineering, I ventured into the metallurgy industry and gained experience in the public sector with the Belgian railway industry. Following a two-year MBA in the U.S., I transitioned to strategy consulting at Kearney in Milan, engaging in diverse projects across sectors like automotive, IT, fashion, and cosmetics. Subsequently, I played a crucial role in a global publisher’s shift from paper to digital, impacting internal processes and aiding the digitalisation of legal, tax advisors, and public administrations. Moving into the healthcare sector, I contributed to digital solutions for communication between medical device manufacturers and hospitals. The opportunity to join EIPA aligned with my background in digital transformation and organisational management.

In this dynamic environment, recognising and addressing the intricate interplay of challenges and opportunities becomes paramount for fostering a resilient and adept public administration sector.”

EIPA plays a crucial role in public administration and governance. What are the key challenges and opportunities that you see in the field of public administration in the coming years?

EIPA plays a decisive role in shaping public administration, and as we navigate the challenges and opportunities in this arena, it’s crucial to address evolving needs. Key challenges include the aging workforce, requiring strategic solutions for transitions, and the imperative for a mindset and skill set shift toward complex problem-solving and digitalisation. Societal challenges, such as “greening” administrations, add complexity, necessitate training and reskilling on a large scale. While positive transformation opportunities exist, financial constraints often pose limitations. In this dynamic environment, addressing the intricate interplay of challenges and opportunities is essential for a resilient public administration sector.

Being deeply integrated into a strong pan-European network ensures that EIPA maintains continual relevance and adaptability, effectively meeting the dynamic requirements of public administration professionals and organisations.”

In an ever-changing global landscape, how does EIPA stay relevant and adapt to the evolving needs of public administration professionals and organisations?

Proactively reflecting on its role, the Institute identifies unique value propositions, particularly in its proximity to the European Commission. Emphasising collaboration, EIPA builds bridges with countries and embraces a global perspective, contributing insights to candidate countries and engaging in international projects beyond the European Union.
Being deeply integrated into a strong pan-European network ensures that EIPA maintains continual relevance and adaptability, effectively meeting the dynamic requirements of public administration professionals and organisations.

Could you provide some insights into your personal vision for the future of EIPA and the impact it can make on public administration in Europe and beyond?

Emphasising collaboration and interconnectedness, the future transcends regional boundaries and stresses the importance of a holistic perspective. The vision centres on sharing and connecting dots, aligning with initiatives like the European Commission’s Compact. With a membership spanning 22 countries and aspirations for growth, EIPA aims to be a key hub for exchanges. There’s a commitment to expanding and fostering connections with entities like national schools and the Commission, envisioning a future marked by open doors and meaningful collaborations.


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