American Swiss Foundation

Leader Spotlight

TORSELLAJAmbassador Joseph Torsella (Young Leader 1992)

U.S. Representative to the United Nations for UN Management and Reform

What can Americans learn from the Swiss, and what can the Swiss learn from the Americans?

Both Americans and Swiss have something to teach the world, especially today, about forging and nurturing a national identity that is based on ideas and political commitments, not ethnicity.

What defines your leadership style?
"Where there is no vision the people perish" (Proverbs, 29). I try to articulate a compelling and coherent vision, set very high standards and goals, and run an open, inclusive, energetic operation.   

What quality do you most admire in a person?
Decency.   Especially when no one's looking.   

What is your greatest strength?
Seeing possibilities where others don’t.

What is your greatest weakness?
A tendency to see too many possibilities at once.    

Where do you live?
During the work week, I hang my hat in midtown Manhattan.  But my family, my heart, and my home are in Flourtown, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia, where we have 3 acres, a vegetable garden, and a flock of chickens.

Where are you from?
Berwick,  a small rural town in northern Pennsylvania.  

What is your goal in life?  
To serve.



About Ambassador Joseph Torsella

Joseph M. Torsella was sworn in as the U.S. Representative to the United Nations for UN Management and Reform on April 26, 2011. Ambassador Torsella most recently served as the Chairman of the Pennsylvania State Board of Education. Under his leadership, the Board passed a landmark accountability measure implementing rigorous statewide requirements for high school graduation. 



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