Appointment of the State Secretary and of the General Secretary in the FDFA

Berne, Press release, 11.01.2012

The Federal Council today appointed Yves Rossier, who is currently Director of the Federal Office of Social Security in the Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA), as the new State Secretary in the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). He will succeed State Secretary Peter Maurer, who is to become President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva. The Federal Council also announced that Benno Bättig, currently General Secretary in the FDHA, will be the new General Secretary in the FDFA. He will succeed Roberto Balzaretti, whom the Federal Council has appointed ambassador and head of the Swiss Mission to the European Union in Brussels.

Yves Rossier was born in 1960 and hails from La Brillaz/FR. Since February 2004 he has been the director of the Federal Office of Social Security in the FDHA. Before that he was responsible for establishing the Federal Gaming Board, which he headed for about four years. Yves Rossier holds a licentiate in law from the University of Freiburg. He studied European Law at the College of Europe in Bruges and went on to take a Master of Laws degree at McGill University in Montréal.  

Yves Rossier worked for the FDFA at the beginning of his professional career. In 1990 he joined the Integration Office FDFA/FDEA as a researcher and after passing the examinations for the diplomatic service in 1993 he did a diplomatic stage in Political Affairs Division II. He later became an scientific adviser to former federal councillors Jean-Pascal Delamuraz and Pascal Couchepin in the Federal Department of Economic Affairs. Yves Rossier is married and has five children.

Yves Rossier will take up his new post on 1 May 2012. Peter Maurer will take up his position as President of the ICRC in the summer of 2012. In his many years of activity for the FDFA, which included stints as UN ambassador of Switzerland in New York and as head of Political Affairs Division IV, Peter Maurer has made a major contribution to Switzerland's foreign policy successes. 

Ambassador Georges Martin, deputy Political Director in the FDFA, will take up the post of deputy to the State Secretary on 1 May 2012. The position of head of the Security Policy and Crisis Management section will thus become vacant and an appointment will be made in the near future. 

Benno Bättig is 45 and comes from Willisau (LU). He holds a licentiate in Economics from the University of Freiburg and a Master of Business Administration. Before moving to the Galenica Group in September 2007 he was the personal assistant to the head of the Federal Department of Home Affairs. Before that he worked in the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, where he held various positions at home and abroad, including that of deputy head of the economics section of the Swiss embassy in Washington. Benno Bättig is married and has two children. 

Benno Bättig will take up his new position on 1 February 2012.  His predecessor Roberto Balzaretti will start work as ambassador and head of the mission of Switzerland to the European Union in Brussels in the summer of 2012. 

Further questions:                           

Jean-Marc Crevoisier,
Head of Information FDFA
Phone: +41 79 763 84 10

Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
West Wing
3003 Bern
+41 (0)31 322 31 53


The Federal Council
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs