Francesco is a senior scientist at the Sustainable Livestock System Program. He is based in Nairobi, Kenya. He holds a M.Sc. in Environmental Science, he completed his Ph.D. in Agricultural Ecology at the University of Milan in 2009, and he brings over 10 years of experience in multiple-scale agro-ecological research, remote sensing of vegetation, and agro-climatic risk management, with particular focus on pastoral and agro-pastoral systems in the Mediterranean and in sub-Saharan Africa. After 6 years of postdoctoral-level research at the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences (University of Milano-Bicocca) and at the Desertification Research Centre (Crop Science Department, University of Sassari), in 2015 he joined Index-Based Livestock Insurance (IBLI) team at ILRI. His current research agenda focuses on developing and supporting the implementation and scaling of innovative “digital” approaches for rangeland monitoring/management and disaster risk financing in the pastoral areas of sub-Saharan Africa, with the goal of increasing the resilience of drylands' populations to climatic shocks and support the implementation of impactful emergency response policies for African drylands. In the last years he gained a strong experience on agricultural index-insurance product design and financial risk modelling, as well as on the socio-economic, operational and financial factors driving the successful implementation disaster risk financing initiatives targeting small-holder farmers and pastoralists. He is currently leading an ambitious agenda for scaling-out index-insurance for livestock in sub-Saharan Africa.