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NIVOLA--Pietro S.

Pietro S. Nivola, a scholar and a kind and gracious man, died at 73 on April 5, 2017 surrounded by his family. He was born in New York City on March 31, 1944 to Ruth and Costantino Nivola, both artists and immigrants. His family moved to Springs on the East End of Long Island, among the first wave of artists to relocate there from New York City in the 1940's and 50's. Pietro attended the Springs School, the Little Red Schoolhouse, Pomfret School (1962) and Harvard College (1966). He later earned a Masters and PhD from Harvard University. He began his career teaching Political Science at Harvard and the University of Vermont. Later he worked for nearly three decades at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, where he published eleven books. Pietro wrote with economy and precision. He explored complex ideas with deceptive ease and addressed his reader in a straight-forward conversational tone, with memorable turns of phrase. He wrote on a range of topics including energy conservation, environmental protection, trade, federalism, and political polarization. He served as Vice President of Governance Studies for four years toward the end of his tenure at Brookings. He will be remembered by his colleagues not only for his inquisitive mind, but also for the rigor of his scholarship, for his talent as a writer and editor, and not least for his impish humor and stylish elegance. He will also be remembered as a generous mentor to many interns and research assistants. After retiring, Pietro turned his attention to a lifelong interest in architecture and redesigned his childhood home in Springs. He was happiest to be in the company of his family and friends and especially enjoyed outings with as many of them as he could corral at a time on his antique wooden boat. He was an avid tennis player and an exceptional cook. With his beloved wife, Katherine Stahl, he hosted dinner parties with conversations extending late into the night. Pietro leaves a circle of devoted family and friends, intensely grateful for his sweetness, his humor and his courage. He is survived by his wife Katherine, children and grandchildren: his son Adrian; his son Alessandro and his wife Emily Mortimer and their children Sam and May; his stepdaughter Asia Webber and her husband Jed Webber and their children Nina, Gage and Tess; and his first wife, Virginia Nivola. He also leaves his dear sister Claire Nivola and her husband Timothy (Gus) Kiley and their children Anther and Maia Anne. In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to the Brookings Institution www.brookings.edu toward the Pietro S. Nivola Internship in Governance Studies.

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Published in New York Times on Apr. 30, 2017.
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11 entries
October 28, 2020
I am heartbroken to hear of Pietro's passing. He took me under his wing as his intern at the Brookings Institution in 2002. Before I traveled to Italy, he shared with me some truly extraordinary advice on where to visit and what to see.
Pietro was the model of intellectual integrity and openness. He demonstrated a truly noble character, and I will never forget him. Please know that his influence is lasting, and the encouragement that he gave is a light that will not go out.
John T. Bennett
April 9, 2018
Even though it's almost a year since Pietro's death, I only just read of it in the Pomfret newsletter.
My junior year I lived in the dorm overseen by Pietro and Dick Rogers, played basketball and soccer with Pietro, was Dick's doubles partner in tennis his senior year, and looked up to both of them. They were - in my reckoning - right at the core of the avant garde of the school.
I had great affection for Pietro, thought him back then to be the epitome of male handsomeness (and looking at pictures he seemed to age well), followed him and Dick to Harvard but practically never saw either of them there except in passing.
I haven't spoken to Pietro since 1962 but considered him a friend and something of a role model. I still don't really know about his career, but from a distance it appears to have been illustrious, and he seems to have been well-loved.
I used to brag about Pietro's having been the only person I actually knew whose photo was in The Family of Man, which I took out from a dusty bookshelf just a few minutes ago.
I bet there are not many of us left who can picture exactly how Pietro went up for a jump shot or how he looked in his soccer gear.
Even though it's been more than half a century since I saw Pietro, it's hard to imagine the world without him.
Dave Hodges, Pomfret '63
David Hodges
March 26, 2018
Pete was two years ahead of me at Pomfret, and I remember him as a handsome young man, a great soccer player, and a senior who was very kind to the younger students. I'm impressed at what he did with his life and how he made use of his considerable talents. He died much too young.

I offer my sincere condolences to Catherine and to his family.
Mark Constantian
August 31, 2017
Dear Katherine,
I was abroad and just recently heard of Pietro's passing. I am so so sorry for your loss. I fondly remember when Roland and I spent a marvelous evening with the two of you in DC years ago going over places to visit in Sardinia--- and this is how we were introduced to that magic island.
I will always remember the joy Pietro shared when he first met you in VT--- "she's 'full of beans" he said beaming. He loved you dearly and I am hoping that his passion for life and for you will stay a constant in your heart. My heart goes out to you and to the your family.
Lynda McIntyre
May 24, 2017
I knew Pietro as an research fellow at Brookings in the early 1990s and kept in touch with him through the years. I will always remember him for his keen intellect, sharp wit, and amazing sense of style. My deepest sympathies to his family.
Philip Klinkner
May 16, 2017
Pietro exposed me to new ideas and had confidence in me when I was hardly brimming with it. I will always be in his debt. And I will remember his fine qualities: his warmth, humor, intelligence, and style; in fact, Pietro was the most stylish academic I've ever met, a fact that I associate with his artistic gifts. I miss him.
Jon Shields
May 15, 2017
I wish I had kept up with this remarkable man after college. Missed a lot.
Stephen '66
Stephen Shafer
May 11, 2017
Hi Katherine,

My thoughts and sympathy are with you. I am so saddened by your great loss.

Maria Mariani
Maria Mariani
May 9, 2017
Katherine, Living in China since December, I just got the very sad news. Pietro was a great friend and colleague for more than four decades. I will miss him terribly and am deeply sorry for your and your family's loss.
David Rosenbloom
May 5, 2017
Dear Katherine, we are so saddened by Pietro's loss. He was a gentle, generous and incredibly brilliant man. Most of all, he was a great friend. Ci mancherai, caro Pietro, we will miss you sorely, dear Pietro.
Fabrizio & Carla
Fabrizio Bucci
May 4, 2017
We send our heartfelt love and prayers to you, yours and Pietro's family
Jane and Tucker Battle
Jane Battle
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