American Swiss Foundation

Leader Spotlight

NiklausNiklaus Nuspliger (Young Leader 2013)

Political Correspondent for European Affairs, Neue Zürcher Zeitung

What do you like most about Switzerland?
Among the many things I like about Switzerland, I would emphasize efficiency and pragmatism. Compared to others, the Swiss usually spend less time on ideological battles, but try to find feasible solutions to concrete problems. Maybe this is also thanks to their political culture of inclusion and compromise.

What do you like most about the USA?
Even though immigration is not an uncontested issue in the U.S., Americans celebrate and value immigrants' contributions to the society and the economy more than Europeans do. This openness contributes to American entrepreneurship, creativity, and constant renewal and reinvention.

What defines your leadership style?
As a Foreign Correspondent, I don't have managerial responsibilities, but I generally try to lead by example and to be as inclusive as possible.

Who inspires you?
As a teenager, I was very inspired by Nelson Mandela. Mandela's recent death reminded me of what a charismatic leader he was. He incurred high personal costs in his fight against discrimination without becoming divisive or revengeful.  

What is your greatest achievement?
I am sometimes surprised that I have managed to live in many different places and adapt to many unfamiliar circumstances.

Do you have any weaknesses? 
Of course. For example, I can be pretty impatient with others and with myself, and I have a tendency to overthink and to be perfectionist.

Where do you live?
I moved to Brussels last fall. The better I get to know the city, the more I enjoy its great food scene, its diversity, and its quirky cultural offerings.

What is your favorite place in the world?
I love to escape to my family's vacation home in the south of France, close to the Spanish border. The area is much less developed than other parts of the Mediterranean coast and the views from the cliffs are breathtaking.

What is the best book you ever read?
I have always enjoyed family sagas like Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann or One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. Over the last several years, my partner Charif, who is a poet himself, has introduced me to contemporary American poetry. I especially like the powerful work of Yusef Komunyakaa.

What is your goal in life? 
I am looking to make a difference in people's lives not only on a professional level, but on a personal one as well.

 


 

About Niklaus Nuspliger

Niklaus Nuspliger is a journalist for the Swiss daily Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ). Since October 2013 he has served as the Political Correspondent for European Affairs in Brussels, where he also covers NATO, the International Courts in The Hague and the politics of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxemburg. Before his transfer to Brussels, he was based in New York, where he covered the United Nations and wrote about North American politics and society. Earlier in his career, he served as a National Correspondent in Zürich and as a Parliamentary Correspondent in Bern. Originally from Bern, he studied Political Science and International Relations in Geneva, Madrid, and Sydney and earned a Master’s degree from the University of Geneva. In addition to his work as a journalist, Niklaus has held guest lectures at the University of Zürich and at Dartmouth College.

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