BORN — Sept. 3, 1947, Rome, Italy. Age 65.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE — Took office on Nov. 1, 2011 as third president of the European Central Bank, after being appointed by leaders of the 17 eurozone countries.

Previously: Appointed head of Bank of Italy, the country's central bank, on Dec. 29, 2005. Served on the 23-member governing council of the European Central Bank, which sets interest rates for the 17 countries that use the euro.

Headed the Financial Stability Board, formerly the Financial Stability Forum, from 2006 to 2011. The FSB is an international organization that seeks to head off risks for the global financial system.

Vice chairman and managing director, Goldman Sachs International, London, 2002-2005, member of executive committee, 2004-2005.

Director general, Italian Treasury, 1991-2001. Headed government privatization committee.

Served as an executive director at the World Bank, 1984-90.

EDUCATION — Ph.D. in economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1977. Studied under Nobel winners Franco Modigliani and Robert Solow. Degree in economics, Universita degli Studi, Rome, 1970.

QUOTE — "There is no going back to the lira or the drachma or to any other currency. It is pointless to bet against the euro. It is pointless to go short on the euro. That was the message. It is pointless because the euro will stay and it is irreversible."

FAMILY — Married, two adult children.