American Swiss Foundation

Leader Spotlight

Barras_HochAmbassador François Barras

Consul General of Switzerland in New York

What can Americans learn from the Swiss?
The Swiss have an exemplary Dual-Education system and it’s a model that can be shared. We are also known for our high standards of quality, attention to detail and work ethic.

What can the Swiss learn from the Americans?
Americans have a great “can do” attitude and we can learn from their optimistic approach to life.

What defines your leadership style?
I try to bring out the best in people and to help everyone find their individual strengths. Team work is also very important.

What qualities do you most admire in a person?
I admire empathy and the ability to listen.

What are your greatest strengths?
Curiosity has led me to where I am today and has shaped my life experiences.

What is your greatest weakness?
It can be too tempting to procrastinate. Also, although I love music, I unfortunately have no musical ear.

Where do you live?
New York City

Where are you from?
Crans-Montana, Canton of Valais, Switzerland

What is your favorite leisure activity?
I enjoy hiking, reading and listening to classical music.

What is your goal in life?
For me, it’s essential to have a balanced lifestyle and compassion towards others.



About Ambassador François Barras

Ambassador Barras has served as the Swiss Consul General in New York since 2010. He has previously served as Ambassador of Switzerland to Lebanon from 2006 to 2010 and as Consul General to Hong Kong and Macao from 2003 to 2006. Prior to this, Ambassador Barras served as Ambassador of Switzerland to the United Arab Emirates from 1999 to 2003 as well as serving as Adviser for Diplomatic Affairs to the Swiss Minister of Foreign Affairs in Bern from 1996 to 1999.

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