Dr. Monaco received a Law degree from the University of Bologna, Italy, in 2004. Simultaneously to his legal studies, between 2001 and 2003 he also trained in international development and regional integration at ISPI (Milan). In 2006 he obtained a double master's degree in International Management from ICN Business School in Nancy, France, and from the University of Bologna's School of Economics, Management and Statistics, which ultimately led him to conduct field research on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policies in India; later on, in 2012, he completed a doctorate in International Relations, South Asian studies, at Yunnan University, China, with a research project on holistic development governance ("Gross National Happiness") in the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. During his doctorate, in 2011, Dr. Monaco conducted coursework and research in Environmental Economics and Social Development in Pakistan at Harvard University, USA, where he returned for the Leading Economic Growth programme organized by Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and Center for International Development, in 2014. In the same year he participated in the Land Governance for Development graduate programme at Utrecht University's Faculty of Geosciences, in the Netherlands. In 2016 and 2017 respectively, Dr. Monaco joined the Innovation for Economic Development as well as the Climate Change and Energy Policy programmes at Harvard University's Kennedy School, from which he eventually obtained an Executive Certificate in Economic Development. More recently he was awarded a bursary from the University of Cambridge (UK) to complete a research-based sustainable value chains programme at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), between July 2018 and April 2019. Since 2020, he has served as an assessor for the Business Sustainability Management programme organised by the University of Cambridge's CISL in collaboration with the digital education platform GetSmarter.
Dr. Monaco's work has spanned beyond academia, as he served in consulting firms and European institutions (e.g. Chambers of Commerce) involved in economic cooperation and trade promotion across Asia (e.g. in China, India, Korea, Thailand).
He is the winner of the President's Award for Teaching and Service 2015-16 and the nominee of the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences for the Research Award 2019-20.