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.
Peter Maurer was born in Thun, Switzerland, in 1956. He studied history and international law in Bern, where he was awarded a doctorate. In 1987 he entered the Swiss diplomatic service, where he held various positions in Bern and Pretoria before being transferred to New York in 1996 as deputy permanent observer at the Swiss mission to the United Nations.
In 2000 he was appointed ambassador and head of the human security division in the political directorate of the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs in Bern.
In 2004 Mr Maurer was appointed ambassador and permanent representative of Switzerland to the United Nations in New York. In this position, he worked to integrate Switzerland, which had only recently joined the United Nations, into multilateral networks. In June 2009, the UN General Assembly elected Mr Maurer chairman of the Fifth Committee, in charge of administrative and budgetary affairs.
In addition, he was elected chairman of the Burundi configuration of the UN Peacebuilding Commission. In January 2010 Mr Maurer was appointed secretary of State for foreign affairs in Bern and took over the reins of the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs, with its five directorates and some 150 Swiss diplomatic missions around the world. He succeeded Jakob Kellenberger as ICRC president on 1 July 2012.
Under his leadership, the ICRC carries out humanitarian work in over 80 countries. Mr Maurer's priorities for his presidency include strengthening humanitarian diplomacy, engaging States and other actors for the respect of international humanitarian law, and improving the humanitarian response through innovation and new partnerships.
Since taking over the presidency of the ICRC, Mr Maurer has led the organization through a historic budget increase, from 1.1bn CHF in 2011 to over 2bn CHF in 2020.
Elected to the ICRC Assembly in 2017 and ICRC's vice-president since April 2018.
Gilles Carbonnier was born in 1965. He holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Neuchâtel and has worked in three main fields over the past 30 years: development economics, humanitarian action and international trade.
Since 2007, Dr Carbonnier has been a professor of development economics at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, where he also served as director of studies and president of the Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action.
His expertise is in international cooperation, the economic dynamics of armed conflict, and the nexus between natural resources and development. His latest book, published by Hurst and Oxford University Press in 2016, is entitled Humanitarian Economics: War, Disaster and the Global Aid Market.
Prior to joining the Graduate Institute, Gilles spent several years with the ICRC: he worked in the field from 1989 to 1991 as head of the subdelegation in Ethiopia and Iraq and as a delegate in Sri Lanka and El Salvador, then at headquarters from 1999 to 2006 as an economic adviser. He was on the board of directors for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Switzerland from 2007 to 2012.
Between 1992 and 1996, he was in charge of international trade negotiations (GATT/WTO) and development cooperation programmes for the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs.
Elected to the ICRC Assembly in 2012. Member of the ICRC Audit Commission and of the Security Review Commission.
Mauro Arrigoni was born in 1952. He holds a PhD 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 several scientific articles on mathematical models in biology and the founder of the scientific journal Il Volterriano.
From 2007 to 2015, he was director of Mendrisio High School in Switzerland. He has been president of the Forum for School Health Promotion in Ticino since 2014. Since 1997, Mauro Arrigoni has played an active role in electoral observation missions in Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gaza, Kosovo, Moldova, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Serbia and Togo.
Elected to the Assembly in 2012. Chairman of the Audit Commission.
Hugo Bänziger was born in 1956. He graduated from the University of Bern with a doctorate in banking history. He began his career in 1983 with the Swiss Federal Banking Commission in Bern, and then joined Credit Suisse Group in Zurich and London, where he held several positions in retail banking, corporate finance and risk management.
From 1996 to 2012, he worked at Deutsche Bank and was appointed to the board in 2006 as chief risk officer, overseeing treasury, capital management, compliance, legal, regulatory policy, corporate security and business continuity.
After ten years on the board of Eurex Group, Hugo Bänziger was appointed chair in August 2012. He also chaired the advisory panel to the Committee of European Banking Supervisors from 2007 to 2010 and co-chaired the Enhanced Disclosure Task Force of the Financial Stability Board and was a member of the EU's High-Level Expert Group on reforming the structure of the EU banking sector (Liikanen Group).
In 2014, Hugo Bänziger became a managing partner of the private bank Lombard Odier, from which he retired at the end of 2018.
Hugo Bänziger's other interests include charity work as treasurer for the John D. V. Salvador Foundation for street children and teaching; he is a visiting professor at the London School of Economics and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Elected to the ICRC Assembly in 2020.
Rémy Best was born in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1967. After graduating from Geneva law school, he was admitted to the Geneva Bar in 1990. He joined McKinsey & Co. from 1991 to 1997 where he advised financial institutions from the Zurich, Geneva and New York offices. In 1993, while at McKinsey, he obtained a Master in Business Administration from INSEAD.
In 1997, he joined Pictet Group, a management-owned wealth and asset management company with 5,000 employees across 30 offices worldwide. He became one of its eight managing partners in 2003.
Throughout his career – serving clients, colleagues and members of the community – he has focused on driving through positive change and demonstrating that business can be a force for good.
He has been a member of the INSEAD board since 2010 and oversees the university's largest ever fundraising campaign, involving 45,000 alumni in 176 countries. As a result of his personal interests, he is currently chair of the Geneva Opera House circle of patrons and is treasurer of the International Council of Museums Fund.
Elected to the Assembly in 2018. Member of the Recruitment and Remuneration Commission and the Data Protection Independent Control Commission.
Edouard Bugnion was born in 1970 and raised in Neuchâtel and Geneva. He studied at ETH Zurich and received his PhD from Stanford University, both in computer science. He spent a total of 18 years in Silicon Valley where he co-founded two start-ups – VMware and Nuova Systems (acquired by Cisco) –serving both as chief technology officer.
He returned to Switzerland and joined the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) in 2012, where he is a professor at the School of Computer and Communication Sciences. From January 2017 to December 2020, he was vice-president of EPFL's information systems department.
Edouard Bugnion has received numerous awards for his contributions as an academic and an entrepreneur. He is a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and a member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences (SATW).
Edouard Bugnion serves as an independent board member on the boards of Logitech and Innosuisse, the Swiss Innovation Agency.
Elected to the Assembly in 2012. Chair of the Florence Nightingale Medal Commission. Chair of the French Fund Maurice de Madre.
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 Samaritan Hospital in Vevey, Switzerland. He organized regular conferences about teaching life-saving skills, his particular area of interest, and he was a board member of a number of professional bodies, including the Swiss Nursing Association.
In 1991, he began teaching at the Bois-Cerf School of Nursing in Lausanne, also lecturing on the history of international humanitarian law. In 1998, he became head of the Bois-Cerf School of Nursing and, in parallel, established the Bois-Cerf Paramedical College.
In 2006, he became director of the La Source Institute and Faculty of Applied Health Sciences. Established in 1859, the same year as the battle of Solferino, La Source was the first secular nursing school in the world and is now part of the HES-SO University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland. He also completed a master's degree in education at the University of Geneva in 2000 and a diploma in management in Lausanne in 2005.
Jacques Chapuis is vice-president of SIDIIEF, the international secretariat of nurses in the French-speaking world, based in Montreal. He is also a board member of the Nant Foundation, which provides psychiatric care in Vaud, Switzerland.
Melchior de Muralt
Elected to the ICRC Assembly in 2012. Member of the Audit Commission. Chair of the Joint Commission of the Empress Shôken Fund.
Melchior de Muralt was born in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1960. He holds a PhD in political sciences from the University of Lausanne. In 1988, he joined the private bank Lombard Odier, where he promoted the work of the Ethos Foundation for Sustainable Development. In 2001, he became a partner in the asset management firm de Pury Pictet Turrettini & Co in Geneva.
At the same time, he helped found Blue Orchard Finance, a company specializing in the management of investment funds dedicated to the micro-finance industry, where he is currently Vice-Chairman. He is also President of Cadmos Fund Management, pioneers in shareholder engagement funds based on the principles of the United Nations Global Compact for corporate sustainability.
Elected to the Assembly in 2017 and to the Council of Assembly in 2018. Christoph Franz was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, in 1960.
After graduating from Darmstadt Technical University and the Ecole Centrale de Lyon in industrial engineering, he earned his PhD in political science from Darmstadt Technical University and worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley. He started his career at Lufthansa in 1990 and joined Deutsche Bahn in 1994, where he was appointed a member of the executive board and CEO of the passenger transport division.
He was then appointed CEO of Swiss International Air Lines in 2004 and promoted to CEO of Lufthansa Airlines in 2009. From 2011 to 2014, Christoph Franz was the CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa. Since March 2014, Christoph Franz has been chair of the board of directors of pharmaceutical company Roche.
His other commitments include sitting on the boards of Stadler Rail and Zurich Insurance Group. He is a member of the board of trustees of the Ernst Göhner Foundation and a member of the University of St Gallen advisory board, where he was appointed honorary professor for business administration in May 2017.
Elected to the Assembly and Assembly Council in 2018.
Katja Gentinetta was born in Visp, Switzerland, in 1968. Since 2011, she has pursued a career as an independent political philosopher. She is a lecturer at the universities of Lucerne and Zurich, a board member of two companies and, in 2022, she will become president of the Stapferhaus museum in Lenzburg. She also writes a business column for the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper.
Katja Gentinetta studied German literature, history and philosophy in Zurich and holds a PhD in political philosophy from the University of Zurich for her thesis on tolerance and its limits in multicultural societies. She completed her studies at the School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS) in Paris, the International Centre for Culture and Management in Salzburg and the Harvard Kennedy School.
Before becoming independent, she was deputy director of the leading think tank Avenir Suisse. For several years, she hosted two current affairs programmes on Swiss public television. She worked for the Canton of Aargau as head of strategy and external affairs and as project manager for the Swiss national exhibition Expo.02. She started her career as director of the Forum Schlossplatz museum in Aarau.
Katja Gentinetta has written several books on social and political issues. One of the latest – Do businesses have a home? – was published in 2016. She is a well-known keynote speaker in Switzerland and abroad and regularly writes columns and opinions for Swiss media.
Photo: ©B. Hofer
Maya Hertig Randall
Elected to the Assembly in 2015. Member of the Data Protection Independent Control Commission. President of the Recruitment and Remuneration Commission.
Maya Hertig Randall was born in 1973. Since 2007, she has been the professor of constitutional law at the University of Geneva and co-director of the Certificate of Advanced Studies in Human Rights. She gained a first degree in law from the University of Neuchâtel, followed by a doctorate from the University of Fribourg and a master's of law from the University of Cambridge.
Before joining the University of Geneva, she was Assistant Professor of European and International Economic Law at the University of Bern, as well as a visiting scholar at the Central European University in Budapest and the University of Michigan.
Maya Hertig Randall has widely published in French, German and English on human rights, comparative and international constitutionalism, federalism and the accommodation of diversity.
Since 2012, she has been a member of the Swiss Federal Commission against Racism.
Elected to the Assembly in 2022.
Samia Hurst-Majno was born in 1971. She is a professor of biomedical ethics at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Geneva, where she chairs the Institute for Ethics, History and the Department of Community Health and Medicine. She studied medicine and specialized in internal medicine at the University of Geneva, then trained in bioethics at the Department of Bioethics of the US National Institutes of Health.
She has been a clinical ethics consultant to the Geneva University Hospitals since 2003, served on the Central Ethics Committee of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences from 2008 to 2012, and as chair of the Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues group and vice-chair of the Swiss National COVID-19 Science Task Force from 2020 to 2022. She is a member of the Senate at the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences and the Swiss National Advisory Commission on Biomedical Ethics, and vice-president of the executive committee of the Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS).
Her research focuses on ethical issues arising in clinical practice, health care systems, and public health, with a particular focus on the protection of vulnerable persons. Her definition of vulnerability was integrated into the Declaration of Helsinki 2013, and into the CIOMS international guidelines for health-related research involving humans in 2015.
Elected to the Assembly in 2013. Member of the Data Protection Independent Control Commission, the Recruitment and Remuneration Commission and the Audit Commission.
Alexis Keller was born in 1962. He studied at the universities of Geneva and Cambridge and is a former fellow of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. He is currently a professor of legal history and legal theory at the University of Geneva and a visiting professor at Sciences Po in Paris.
From 2002 to 2004, Alexis 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 special representative for the Middle East peace process, a position he held until January 2004.
Alexis Keller has written numerous books and articles on legal history, legal theory and European intellectual history. In 2002, he was awarded the Latsis Prize. In 2004, he was awarded the Condorcet-Raymond Aron Prize and the Sean MacBride Peace Prize for his efforts in promoting peace in the Middle East. In 2005, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Paris.
Alexis Keller is a member of several academic societies and research institutes, both in Europe and the United States. He is the president of the Theology Faculty Board at the University of Geneva, a board member of the Pro Victimis Foundation and an advisory board member of the International Center for Transitional Justice.
Elected to the Assembly in 2010. Member of the Recruitment and Remuneration Commission and president of the health working group.
Jürg Kesselring was born in 1951 and is a senior ambassador and consultant emeritus of the Department of Neurology and Neurorehabilitation at the Valens Rehabilitation Centre in Switzerland, as well as professor emeritus of clinical neurology and neurorehabilitation at the universities of Bern and Zurich, at the Danube University Krems, Austria, and at the Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele in Milan, Italy.
He is a member of the council of the Neuroscience Center Zurich, which is a joint centre of expertise led by the University of Zurich and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich.
He is a former chair of both the International Medical and Scientific Board of the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation and the World Health Organization Working Group on Multiple Sclerosis. He is also the first honorary president of the Swiss Multiple Sclerosis Society. He is a fellow of the UK's Royal College of Physicians and a member of the university council at Mozarteum University in Salzburg, Austria.
He also worked as a health delegate for the ICRC in Lebanon, Pakistan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Elected to the Assembly in 2016. Member of the Audit Commission.
Laura Sadis was born in 1961. She holds a degree in economics from the University of Zurich and a federal diploma in tax accounting. She has worked for a number of years in the financial planning sector. In 1995, she was elected to the legislative council of the Canton of Ticino, where she served until 2003.
From then until 2007, she was a member of the National Council, the lower house of the Swiss parliament, before being elected to the State Council of the Canton of Ticino, where she headed the department of finance and economics until 2015. Between 2007 and 2015, she was also a member of the Bank Council, which oversees the Swiss National Bank. Since 2016, Laura Sadis has been a board member of AlpTransit Gotthard and the International Balzan Prize Foundation "Fund" Zurich.
Elected to the Assembly in 2012. Member of the Security Review Commission.
Doris Schopper was born in 1954 and studied medicine at the University of Geneva. She specialized in internal medicine and completed a doctorate in public health at the Harvard School of Public Health. Between 1982 and 1990, she served in the field with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and was president of its Swiss branch from 1991 to 1998.
During this period, she served two terms as president of MSF's International Council. She was asked to set up an independent ethics-review board for MSF International in 2001 and was its chair until the end of 2016, providing advice and overseeing ethical reviews of MSF research proposals. She currently serves as a senior adviser to the board.
Doris Schopper spent three years as a health-policy adviser to the World Health Organization Global Programme on AIDS and two years as senior health-policy adviser to the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute. She has also been responsible for the development of national and regional public health policies and strategies in Switzerland.
From 2011 onwards, Doris Schopper was a professor at the faculty of medicine at the University of Geneva and director of the Geneva Centre for Humanitarian Studies (formerly CERAH), a joint centre of the University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. Currently professor emeritus, she continues to pursue her lifelong commitment to humanitarian action.
Elected to the Assembly in 2015 and to the Assembly Council in 2017. Member of the Recruitment and Remuneration Commission.
Born in Zurich in 1963, Béatrice Speiser grew up in Brussels, Belgium. She holds a doctorate in law from the University of Saint-Gallen and joined the Basel Bar Association. She completed the Advanced Management Programme at the Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania) and the Social Entrepreneurship Programme at the European Institute of Business Administration (INSEAD) in France.
In 2004, she founded "Crescenda" in the city of Basel, the first Swiss business support centre for migrant women. As president, she continues to develop the organization, which trains and supports migrant women in setting up their own businesses, either as sole owners or as a cooperative.
Crescenda facilitates their social and economic integration into Switzerland and was awarded the Swiss Integration Prize for its work. In 2014, Béatrice Speiser co-authored The Crescenda Model: Migrant Women as Entrepreneurs (Das Crescenda Modell: Migrantinnen als Unternehmerinnen).
She worked for many years as a judge for the city of Basel, where she now lives, and she currently works as an independent lawyer. She is involved in various social and entrepreneurial initiatives and is a board member of several companies and non-profit organizations.
Elected to the Assembly and Council of Assembly in 2010. Member of the Recruitment and Remuneration Commission.
Bruno Staffelbach was born in 1957. 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.
From 1992 to 2016, he was the chair of the business administration and human resource management department at the University of Zurich, where he also directed the university's executive education programme and headed the Institute for Strategy and Business Economics.
He also taught at the University of Fribourg and, since August 2016, he has been a rector of the University of Lucerne. In addition to his academic career, Bruno Staffelbach served as commander and general staff officer in the Swiss Armed Forces. He held the rank of brigadier-general and commanded an infantry brigade from 2004 to 2008.
Elected to the Assembly in 2020.
Suba Umathevan was born in Kilinochchi, Sri Lanka, in 1982. At the age of two, she fled the war-torn country with her family and arrived in Bern, Switzerland. Suba Umathevan holds a master's degree in international affairs with a specialization in international law from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva and an honours degree in international studies and modern languages from the University of Ottawa.
She began her international career as a research fellow at UNESCO's International Bureau of Education, where she assessed mother tongue and bilingual education programmes in sub-Saharan African countries.
Suba Umathevan has spent nearly a decade in non-profit management and has dedicated her work to women's and children's rights. She has led development programmes in a number of countries in Africa, Asia and South America. Her expertise is in women's economic empowerment, education in emergencies, gender-based violence, female genital mutilation/cutting and early marriage.
Suba Umathevan spent a number of years designing and leading learning programmes for people and strategy development with executives across the globe, identifying global megatrends and preparing leaders to transform.
She was also the CEO of Plan International Switzerland, an organization that advances children's rights and equality for girls. Suba Umathevan is currently the CEO of Drosos Foundation, which supports projects aimed at promoting the life skills of disadvantaged children and young people.
Elected to the Assembly in 2017 and to the Council of Assembly in 2018.
Barbara Wildhaber was born in 1969 and spent her childhood in Aargau, Switzerland. She graduated from the University of Zurich with a federal diploma in medicine in 1994 and with a doctorate in 1995. She then trained in paediatric surgery, working in Switzerland (Zug, Lucerne, Zurich and Geneva) and elsewhere (South Africa and the United States). She obtained her diploma as a specialist paediatric surgeon in 2005.
Barbara Wildhaber then further specialized in paediatric hepatobiliary surgery in Paris from 2006 to 2007. In 2010, she was appointed professor at the faculty of medicine at the University of Geneva and head of paediatric surgery at the Geneva University Hospitals (HUG).
Since 2014, Barbara Wildhaber has been the director of the University Center of Pediatric Surgery of Western Switzerland, which pools expertise in paediatric surgery from the university hospitals of Geneva and Vaud. In the same year, she was appointed professor at the faculty of biology and medicine at the University of Lausanne.
As her clinical work mainly encompassed liver transplants and paediatric hepatobiliary surgery, she became the surgical expert at the Swiss referral centre for paediatric liver disease at HUG. In her capacity as a paediatric surgeon, she has carried out several assignments in Ukraine, the Dominican Republic and South Africa and is highly involved in the Global Initiative for Children's Surgery, leading the Geneva project in Burkina Faso.
Within academia, Barbara has led research projects in her areas of expertise, earning several scientific awards, and written many papers for leading scientific journals. She is also actively involved in teaching undergraduate and postgraduate medical students at the universities of Geneva and Lausanne. She is a member of the executive boards of various scientific journals, foundations and scholarly associations, including the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences.
Photo: ©Guillaume Megevand