The members of the International Committee of the Red Cross
The Assembly is the supreme governing body of the ICRC. It oversees all the ICRC's activities. It formulates policy, defines general objectives and strategy, and approves the budget and accounts. It nominates the directors and the head of Internal Audit. Composed of between 15 and 25 co-opted members of Swiss nationality, the Assembly is collegial in character. Its President and Vice-President are the President and Vice-President of the ICRC.
Daniel Thürer was born in 1945. He holds the chairs of International and European Law and Public and Comparative Constitutional Law at the University of Zurich. He received his J.D. degree (lic. iur.) from Zurich University (1970), his LL.M. from Cambridge University (1974) and his Ph.D. (Dr. iur.) from Zurich University (1974). He was a Research Fellow at the Max-Planck-Institute of Public International Law and Comparative Public Law in Heidelberg from 1976 to 1979 and a visiting scholar at Harvard Law School from 1979 to 1981. He was legal advisor to a Swiss cantonal government from 1981 to 1983 and became a professor at the University of Zurich in 1983. He received an honorary degree in political science from the University of St. Gallen in 2001. Daniel Thürer is also the Swiss Delegate to the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) of the Council of Europe. He is a member of the International Court of Arbitration, a member of the OSCE Court of Arbitration and Conciliation and an alternate member of the Executive Committee of the International Commission of Jurists. He has served as a member of the Constitutional Court of the Principality of Liechtenstein (1989-2000), an expert for the “Total Revision” of the Swiss Constitution and a member of the (internationally composed) “Independent Commission of Experts -- Switzerland and the Second World War.”
Daniel Thürer was a visiting research professor at Harvard Law School and the Stanford School of Law and Distinguished Visiting Professor at Hong Kong University. He is co-founder of the "Europa Institut Zürich“ and member of the boards of editors of the "Revue de droit suisse,“ "Revue Suisse de droit international et de droit européen“ and "Archiv des Völkerrechts."
Daniel Thürer has published widely in the fields of international, European and public law.
He was elected to the Assembly in 1991.
Yves Sandoz was born in 1944 and holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Doctor of Laws from the University of Neuchâtel.
From 1968 to 1973, he carried out various assignments for the ICRC in Nigeria, Israel and the occupied territories, Jordan, Lebanon, Bangladesh, Yemen and elsewhere. He also wrote his doctoral thesis and was in charge of editing a new edition of a commentary on the Swiss penal code.
Mr Sandoz joined the ICRC in 1975 as a member of the Legal Division and remained with the organization until 2000, serving for 18 years as Director for International Law and Policy. During this period he was also active in the academic world, giving courses in various universities and institutions of higher learning, conducting seminars and authoring numerous publications.
After leaving the ICRC, Mr Sandoz conceived the idea of setting up the University Centre for International Humanitarian Law in Geneva and served on the Centre's provisional board of directors once it came into being. Since 2002 he has given the general course on humanitarian law for the Master's programme offered by the Centre and a one-semester course on the same subject at the University of Fribourg. He also holds a three-day seminar at the College of Europe, in Bruges, and works with many other universities and institutions of higher learning. He frequently takes part in seminars and meetings of experts in the fields of general international law, international criminal law and especially international humanitarian law.
Yves Sandoz was elected to the Committee in October 2002 and sits on its Audit Committee. He is also a member of the International Institute of Human Rights, the International Institute of Humanitarian Law and many international law associations. He has published widely, mainly in the field of international humanitarian law.
Paola Ghillani was born in 1963. A pharmacist by profession, she began her career with Ciba/Novartis. After spending several years in multinational management, she became CEO of the Max Havelaar Foundation, a Fair Trade organization, in 1999. During the same period, she was appointed member of the Board of FLO (Fairtrade Labelling Organizations) International and was elected President and Chairwoman of the FLO Board from 2001 to 2004. Paola Ghillani has been a Member of the Assembly since 2005. She also serves on the boards of various organizations, including several ethical investment funds.
Paola Ghillani founded her own company, Paola Ghillani & Friends Ltd, on 1 September 2005. The company is active in corporate strategies and management consulting and in promoting and implementing sustainable development and ethics in business.
Paola Ghillani graduated with a degree in pharmacy from the University of Lausanne, and completed her business training with a master’s degree in international general management from the IMD Business School in Lausanne, where she also took the international programme for board management. Ms Ghillani was selected as Global Leader for Tomorrow (GLT) by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in 2000.
She was elected to the Assembly in 2005.
Bernard G. R. Daniel was born in 1944. After graduating in law from the University of Geneva, he continued his training at the IMD in Lausanne (Executive Development Programme and International Seminar for Board Members).
Mr Daniel joined the International Committee of the Red Cross in 1967 during the Arab-Israeli conflict known as the "Six-Day War." From 1967 to 1972 he carried out several assignments in the Middle East (in Yemen, Iraq and Iran) and in South-East Asia (in Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Viet Nam and Cambodia) and Bangladesh. He opened the first ICRC regional delegation in South-East Asia, in Malaysia.
Returning to Switzerland in 1973, Mr Daniel joined the Nestlé Group, where he served as secretary to the board of directors and secretary-general from 1987 to 2007. During that time he was also a member of the International Security Management Association (US) and took part in the proceedings of the working group of the European Round Table of Industrialists (Brussels). Mr Daniel also contributes to the deliberations of the Centre for European Policy Studies (Brussels) in the corporate governance field and is a member of the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN, London).
Deeply involved in economic, social, cultural and political life, Mr Daniel serves on several foundation councils and executive boards of public and private institutions. He is also a founding member of the "RODEO" (Rotary Demining Operation) Foundation.
He became a member of the Assembly in April 2009.
Rolf Soiron was born near Frankfurt in 1945. He holds a doctorate in history and a PMD from Harvard Business School, where he specialized in business management. In the course of his international career he has held various business management positions in such areas as human resources, financial administration, operational management and strategic planning. He has worked in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries and in medical engineering, construction and finance. He has gained extensive experience of corporate governance as the chairman of the boards of Holcim, Lonza and Nobel Biocare and on other boards.
Alongside his career in the private sector, Mr Soiron has played an active role in public life as a member of the Riehen Communal Council and the Grand Council of the Canton of Basel-City. He also spent 10 years as president of the Basel University Council. He is the current president of Avenir Suisse.
He was elected to the Assembly in 2009.
François Bugnion was born in 1945. He holds a BA and a PhD in political sciences and is an independent consultant in the fields of international humanitarian law and humanitarian action.
He joined the ICRC in 1970 and served as a delegate in Israel and the cccupied territories, Bangladesh, Turkey and Cyprus, and then as head of mission in Chad, Vietnam and Cambodia. From 2000 to 2006, he was director for International Law and Cooperation at the ICRC.
He has published more than 50 books and articles, mainly on international humanitarian law and the history of the Red Cross, including The International Committee of the Red Cross and the Protection of War Victims.
François Bugnion was elected to the Assembly in 2010.
Bruno Staffelbach was born in 1957 and has been professor of Business Administration and Human Resource Management at the University of Zurich since 1992. He holds a master’s degree in economics, a doctorate in business administration, and a postdoctoral qualification in management and ethics from the University of Zurich. He has taught at the University of Fribourg and at the University of Applied Sciences in Lucerne. From 1992 to 2000 he was the director of the executive education programme and until 2010 he headed the Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, both at the University of Zurich.
In parallel with his academic career, Bruno Staffelbach has served as a commander and general staff officer at various levels in the Swiss armed forces. From 2004 to 2008 he held the rank of Brigadier-General and commanded an infantry brigade.
Mr Staffelbach sits on the boards of a number of organizations. He is a former president of the University Council of the University of Lucerne and of the Executive MBA of the University of Zurich.
He was elected to the Assembly in 2010.
Jürg Kesselring was born in 1951. He is Head of Department of Neurology & Neurorehabilitation, Rehabilitation Centre, Valens, Switzerland. Professor of Clinical Neurology and Neurorehabilitation, University of Bern and Center of Neuroscience, University and ETH Zürich. President of the Swiss Multiple Sclerosis Society. Former Chairman of the International Medical and Scientific Board of Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF) Chairman of the WHO Working Group on Multiple Sclerosis. Former ICRC medical delegate to Lebanon, Pakistan and Zaire.
He was elected to the Assembly in 2011.
Mauro Arrigoni was born in 1952. He holds a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Zurich. After graduating in 1980, he pursued an academic career in mathematics and physics in the Swiss canton of Ticino and in Mexico. He is the author of many scientific papers on mathematical models in biology and the founder of the scientific journal Il Volteriano. Since 2007, he has been the dean of a high school in Mendrisio, Switzerland. Since 1997 he has also been active in electoral observation missions in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Moldavia, Kosovo, Serbia, Albania, Azerbaijan, Gaza, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Togo and Nicaragua.
He was elected to the Assembly in 2012.
Thierry Lombard was born in 1948 and holds a degree in economics from the University of Geneva. He joined Lombard Odier & Cie in 1972 and became a managing partner in 1982. After assuming many important responsibilities within Lombard Odier, where he represents the sixth generation, he was senior partner from 1995 to 2008. Today he is involved in developing the thematic investment strategy as well as new skills and products within Lombard Odier Investment Managers. He is also responsible for the Communication Department and the management of human resources at Lombard Odier, chairing the staff pension foundations. He is the chairman of the board of the Family Business Network International. In addition, he is active in several medical, environmental and humanitarian foundations. In particular, he chairs the Foundation for the International Committee of the Red Cross.
He was elected to the Assembly in 2012.
Melchior de Muralt was born in 1960. He holds a Ph.D. in political sciences from the University of Lausanne. In 1988 he joined Lombard Odier & Cie, where he endeavoured to promote the Ethos Foundation for Sustainable Development. In 2001, he became a partner in the Pury Pictet Turrettini & Cie asset management firm. At the same time, he helped create Blue Orchard Finance, a company specializing in the management of investment funds dedicated to the micro-finance industry, where he is currently vice-chairman of the board of directors. He is also president of Cadmos Fund Management and of the Guilé Engagement Funds, which have been leaders in socially responsible investment based on the principles of the United Nations Global Compact, and chairman of World Microfinance Forum Geneva.
He was elected to the Assembly in 2012.
Hugo Bänziger was born in 1956. He studied modern history, constitutional law and economics at the University of Bern, earning his doctorate with a thesis in banking history.
Hugo is currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors of EUREX, Europe’s largest exchange for financial futures and traded options. In the 16 years prior, he worked for Deutsche Bank, with the last six years (2006 to 2012) serving as Chief Risk Officer on the bank’s Management Board. In this capacity, he was responsible for Risk Management, Treasury, Capital Planning, Legal & Compliance, Regulatory Policy, Corporate Security and Business Continuity.
Aside from his work in the private sector, Hugo also served as Chairman of the Advisory Panel to the Committee of European Banking Supervisors from 2007 to 2010, co-chaired the Financial Stability Board’s Enhanced Disclosure Task Force in the summer of 2012, and was a member of the EU’s High Level Expert Group on Structural Reforms in the Banking Sector (Liikanen Group).
Hugo Bänziger began his career in 1983 at the Swiss Federal Banking Commission in Berne, Switzerland’s bank supervision authority at the time. Subsequently, he worked at Credit Suisse in various positions in Zürich and London from 1985 to 1996.
Hugo’s other interests include charity work for the John D V Salvador Foundation for street children where he serves as Treasurer, and teaching as visiting professor at the London School of Economics and the Lee Kwan Yew Institute for Public Policy in Singapore.
Hugo Bänziger was elected to the Assembly in 2012.
Jacques Chapuis was born in 1957 in Aubonne, Switzerland. After studying in Lausanne, he qualified as a psychiatric nurse in 1979, then as an anaesthesia and resuscitation specialist in 1984. From 1986 to 1987, he worked as a medical administrator for the ICRC in Pakistan (Peshawar and Quetta), overseeing war surgery in several hospitals and first-aid posts along the Afghan-Pakistan border.
In 1988, he was appointed lead clinician and training manager for anaesthesia and resuscitation at the Le Samaritain Hospital in Vevey, Switzerland. Passionate about teaching lifesaving skills, he organized regular conferences in his area of expertise and sat on the board of a number of professional bodies, including the Swiss Nursing Association.
In 1991, he began teaching at the Bois-Cerf nursing school (École Bois-Cerf) in Lausanne, also lecturing on the history of international humanitarian law. In his own time, he completed a Master’s degree in education at the University of Geneva in 2000, and a diploma in management in Lausanne in 2005.
In 1998, he became head of the Bois-Cerf nursing school and, in parallel, established the Bois-Cerf paramedical college (École supérieure de soins ambulanciers de Bois-Cerf). Since 2006, he has been managing the La Source Institute and Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, which is part of the HES-SO network of specialist faculties in western Switzerland. Established in 1859, the same year as the battle of Solferino, La Source was the first secular school in the world.
Mr Chapuis is vice-president of the international secretariat of nurses in the French-speaking world (SIDIIEF), based in Montreal. He is also a member of the board of Fondation Nant, which delivers psychiatric care in eastern Vaud, Switzerland.
Mr Chapuis was elected to the ICRC Assembly in 2012.
Alexis Keller was born in 1962. Currently, he is Professor of Legal History and Legal Theory at the Faculty of Law (University of Geneva) and Visiting Professor at Sciences Po (Paris). He studied at the Universities of Geneva and Cambridge and is a former Fellow of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
From 2002 to 2004, Mr Keller took an active part in the negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians that led to the Geneva Initiative. In April 2003, the Swiss Foreign Minister appointed him as Special Representative for the Middle East peace process. He held this position until January 2004.
Mr Keller has written books and numerous articles on legal history, legal theory and European intellectual history. He is the recipient of an honorary doctorate from the University of Paris (2005). In 2002, he was awarded the Latsis Prize. For his efforts to promote peace in the Middle East, he was awarded the Condorcet-Raymond Aron Prize and the Sean MacBride Peace Prize, both in 2004.
Mr Keller is a member of several academic societies and research institutes, both in Europe and in the United States. He is the president of the Foundation that governs the Faculty of Theology at the University of Geneva, a member of the Board of the Fondation Pro Victimis, and a member of the Advisory Board of the International Center for Transitional Justice.
Mr Keller was elected to the ICRC Assembly in 2012.
Doris Schopper was born in 1954. She obtained a medical degree at the University of Geneva (1978), trained in internal medicine (1986), and completed a doctorate in public health at the Harvard School of Public Health (1992). Between 1982 and 1990 she spent several years with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in the field. She was president of the Swiss branch of MSF from 1991 to1998. During this period, she served two terms as president of MSF’s International Council, setting policies for the organization. In 2001, she was asked to set up an independent ethics review board for MSF International. She has been the chair of the board since then, overseeing ethical reviews of MSF research proposals and providing advice on ethical issues.
Ms Schopper worked as health policy adviser in the Global Programme on AIDS at WHO headquarters in Geneva from 1992 to 1995. In addition, she was senior health policy adviser at the Swiss Tropical Institute for two years, and has developed several policies and strategies for WHO. She has also been responsible for the development of public health policies and strategies – national and regional – in Switzerland.
Ms Schopper is a professor in the medical faculty at the University of Geneva and the Director of the Center for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action since July 2011.
Ms Schopper was elected to the ICRC Assembly in 2012.
Heidi Tagliavini was born in 1950 in Basel, Switzerland. She completed her studies in philology in Geneva and Moscow and holds two honorary doctorates from the universities of Basel and Bern.
A Swiss career diplomat for over 30 years, Heidi Tagliavini joined the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs in 1982. After several assignments in bilateral diplomacy (in Bern, Lima, Moscow and The Hague), she served mainly in conflict settlement and peacekeeping missions as well as in the promotion of democratic institutions and human rights for regional and international organizations. These include the United Nations (UN), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the European Union (EU).
In 1995, amidst the war in Chechnya, Heidi Tagliavini was deployed with the first OSCE Assistance Group to the republic. In 1998 she was appointed Ambassador to serve as Deputy to the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Georgia. This function concerned the conflict in Abkhazia. In 2000, the Austrian OSCE Chairperson-in-Office appointed her as her Personal Representative for missions in the Caucasus.
From 2001 to 2002, she served as Swiss Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Subsequently, and still in 2002, the then UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, appointed her as his Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia. She filled this capacity for four years. Upon her return to the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the end of 2006, she served as its Deputy Political Director and Deputy Secretary of State.
The EU Council of Ministers appointed Ambassador Tagliavini in December 2008 as Head of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Conflict in Georgia, which released the EU-commissioned Report on the Conflict in Georgia in September of the following year.
Between 2009 and 2013 Heidi Tagliavini was deployed by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights to head its election observation missions in several presidential and parliamentary elections in Ukraine, the Russian Federation and Armenia.
Ms Tagliavini was elected to the ICRC Assembly in 2013.