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Speakers

Moderation

Stephan Lendi
Journalist and presenter

Stephan Lendi is an experienced presenter of numerous events, livestreams, podcasts and TV shows. The journalist and presenter trained as a mediator after receiving his MBA in Global Marketing & Communications from Harvard University. He teaches professionals and executives about conflict management, dealing with the media, rhetoric and presentation skills.

Speakers

Larissa M. Bieler
Director and editor-in-chief SWI swissinfo.ch

Born 1978 in Chur. Studied German literature, economics and political science in Zurich. For many years was a freelance journalist for local and regional media, and from 2013 was editor-in-chief of the newspaper Bündner Tagblatt. Since January 2016, editor-in-chief of SWI swissinfo.ch.?

Roland Büchel
National Councillor (SVP/SG)

Roland Büchel is a sports manager and small business owner. He is a member of the SVP and has served as a National Councillor for the canton of St. Gallen since 2010. Since 2009 he has been one of the members of the Council of the Swiss Abroad who resides in Switzerland, and from 2009 to 2017 he served as an Executive Board member of the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad.

Ignazio Cassis
President of the Swiss Confederation

Ignazio Cassis was appointed Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) on 1 November 2017. In 2022 he was also appointed President of the Swiss Confederation. Ignazio Cassis is a medical doctor by profession. From 1996 to 2008 he served as a cantonal medical officer in the canton of Ticino, and from 2004 to 2014 was a member of the municipal council of Collina d’Oro, Ticino.

Kijan Espahangizi
Managing Director of the ‘History of Knowledge’ Centre ETH / University of Zurich

Dr Kijan Espahangizi is a historian and holds German, Swiss and Iranian triple citizenship. He researches and lectures at the University of Zurich, with a focus on the history of migration. He is co-founder of the Institute New Switzerland (INES), a think & act tank dedicated to migration, diversity and democracy.

Roland Fischer
National Councillor (GLP/LU)

National Councillor Roland Fischer, President of the Green Liberal Party (GLP) Canton Lucerne until summer 2020, has been President of the Swiss Society for Foreign Policy (SGA) since June 2022. He is also a board member of the New European Movement Switzerland (NEBS), WWF Lucerne and Pro Velo Schweiz.

Michelle Fongang
Economist, specialist in EU politics

Michelle Fongang is an economist and specialist in European politics. She works as a project manager at the Department for Multicultural Cohesion (COSM) and heads the Secretariat of the Advisory Committee of the State Council of Neuchâtel for Intercultural Integration Policy (CICM). She has a master’s in European politics and a master’s in business economics, which she obtained as part of a dual degree in Asian markets.

Fabrizio Gilardi
Professor of Policy Analysis, University of Zurich

Fabrizio Gilardi is a professor of policy analysis at the University of Zurich, co-director of the Digital Democracy Lab and co-manager of the Democracy Community of the Digital Society Initiative. His research focuses on the implications of digital technologies for politics and democracy.

Luis Alberto Gostin Krämer
Board member of the Youth Parliament of the Swiss Abroad (YPSA)

Luis Alberto Gostin is a swiss-chilean musician with a bachelor in music theory and music literature. He has been a member of the Youth Parliament of the Swiss Abroad YPSA since 2016 and from YPSA International since 2020. In 2021 he was elected as a delegate of the CSE. He became part of YPSA because he has always liked connecting people and public relations.

Peter Grünenfelder
Director of Avenir Suisse

With a doctorate in economics, Peter Grünenfelder is the director of Avenir Suisse and assumes overall responsibility for the think tank’s work. He previously held positions such as State Chancellor of the canton of Aargau and President of the Swiss State Chancellors’ Association. He regularly lectures at universities in Switzerland and abroad.

Priscilla Imboden
Parliamentary editor of the online magazine ‘Republik’

Priscilla Imboden is the parliamentary editor of the online magazine ‘Republik’. She previously worked for Radio SRF as a business editor, and was its USA correspondent from 2013 to 2017 – which was the ideal opportunity to familiarise herself with life as a Swiss abroad. She writes about foreign and security policy as well as the environment and energy.

Irène Kälin
President of the National Council 2021/2022

Irène Kälin is a National Councillor of the Green Party in the canton of Aargau and was appointed President of the National Council in 2022. She works to bring together and harmonise different viewpoints and ensure the compatibility of family and career, and is committed to implementing concrete measures to combat climate change, as well as establishing a strong democracy and safeguarding the fundamental rights of everyone.

Filippo Lombardi
President of the OSA

Filippo Lombardi is a journalist and media entrepreneur. From 1999 to 2019, he was a State Councillor for the CVP in the canton of Ticino, and President of the Council of States in 2013. Mr Lombardi was also president of the CVP parliamentary group and a member of the party's executive committee. He has been a member of the Council of the Swiss Abroad since 2001, and has been on the Executive Board of the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA) since 2013. From 2015 to August 2021, he was vice-president of the Board, and has been serving as the president of the OSA since the new legislature was passed.

Franz Muheim
Professor of Particle Physics at the University of Edinburgh and OSA Executive Board member

Franz Muheim is a professor of particle physics at the University of Edinburgh and conducts research at CERN. He is also an Executive Board member of the Federation of Swiss Societies UK and vice-president of the Swiss Club Edinburgh. He has been a member of the Council of the Swiss Abroad since 2013, and a member of the Executive Board of the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad since 2017. He was also a National Council candidate for the Green Liberal Party of Zurich in 2019.

Jacqueline Siffer
Executive Board member of the Youth Parliament of the Swiss Abroad (YPSA)

Jacqueline Siffer works in the areas of communication and public affairs in New York. She has a degree in political science and art history, and will soon continue her master’s in politics and communication at the London School of Economics. She was co-founder of the Youth Parliament of the Swiss Abroad (YPSA) in 2015 and served as its president from 2019 to 2021.

Uwe Serdült
Political scientist at the Aarau Centre for Democracy Studies

Uwe Serdült holds two positions: scientific researcher at the Aarau Centre for Democracy Studies (ZDA) at the University of Zurich and lecturer at the College of Information Science and Engineering at Ritsumeikan University in Japan. His research focuses on exploring both the positive and negative impacts of the internet upon democracy.

Carlo Sommaruga
State Councillor (SP/GE)

Carlo Sommaruga was born in Lugano in 1959 and lives in Geneva. The lawyer is a member of the Executive Board of the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad and a State Councillor. He is also a member of the Foreign Policy Commission and the delegations for relations with EFTA and the EU, the Francophonie and the French parliament, as well as a member of the Social Democratic Party of Switzerland.

Ariane Rustichelli
Director of the OSA

Ariane Rustichelli studied art history, history and journalism. She expanded her master's degree in humanities with further competences in marketing, innovation and sustainable development as well as in NPO management. She has worked in the cultural sector, as a research assistant as well as a freelancer in cultural communication. In 2008, she took over as Head of Marketing & Communication at the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA). In 2014 she became co-director, and since 2019 she has been director of the OSA.

Elisabeth Schneider-Schneiter
National Councillor (Centre/BL)

Elisabeth Schneider-Schneiter is a National Councillor and member of the Foreign Policy Commission as well as a member of the EFTA/EU delegation. She is also president of the Basel Chamber of Commerce and a board member of Economiesuisse. In addition, she is a member of the Council of the Swiss Abroad and co-president of the Swiss Abroad parliamentary group.

Nicolas Walder
National Councillor (Green Party/GE)

Nicolas Walder is vice-president of the Green Party of Switzerland. He completed his studies in hospitality and sociology. After several assignments for the International Committee of the Red Cross, he became a member of the administrative council of the city of Carouge. He was elected to the National Council in 2019 and is a member of the Foreign Policy Commission, the Commission for Legal Affairs, and the delegations for EFTA and APF.

Laurent Wehrli
National Councillor (FDP/VD)

National Councillor Laurent Wehrli has been a member of the Swiss parliament since 2015. He is a member of the Foreign Policy Commission, the Business Audit Commission, and two delegations (APF, IPU). As a member of the 'FDP.The Liberals' party, he was also elected to the city administration of Montreux in 2000, where he served as mayor from 2011 to 2021, and was in the parliament of the canton of Valais from 2002 to 2015. He is vice-president of the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad.

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