American Swiss Foundation

Leader Spotlight

BUHOLZERRDr. René Buholzer (YL 2003)

Managing Director, Global Head of Public Policy, Credit Suisse

What do you like most about Switzerland?

Its rich diversity on all levels: in society, politics and the economy, as well as in terms of its culture and geography. This diversity is all the more striking given the small size of the country.

What do you like most about the U.S.?

The mood of optimism there and the willingness of Americans to embark on new challenges and take calculated risks.

What defines your leadership style?

I am creative, open-minded, and frank. I also think I am a good people person. My leadership style involves giving the members of my team the space they need to be able to inject their own energy and enthusiasm into their roles. I enjoy working closely with my colleagues and favor an open-door policy that helps to promote a positive atmosphere and a spirit of cooperation within the team.

Who inspires you?

I was once fortunate enough to meet the Dalai Lama, who is a truly inspirational figure. However, I guess that in everyday life, I tend to find inspiration more often from intellectual exchanges of ideas and thought-provoking discussions with colleagues and friends, as well as from reading a good book.

What is your greatest achievement?

It was marrying my wonderful wife almost two decades ago.

Do you have any weaknesses?

Yes, of course. More than I would like to admit to!

Where do you live?

In a small town on the shore of Lake Zürich.

What is your favorite place in the world?

Any peaceful place when I am in the company of my wife and son.

What is the best book you ever read?

There is not one specific book that I would single out as the best ever, but I do have a number of favorites, depending on the genre, my reason for reading, and my mood at the time. My favorites range from Hayek’s Road to Serfdom and Kant’s Perpetual Peace, to the Asterix comic series by Goscinny and Uderzo.

What is your goal in life?

In the words of Reinhold Niebuhr, it is to have the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.



About René Buholzer

Dr. René P. Buholzer has been Head of Public Policy and Sustainability at Credit Suisse since 2006. He joined the bank in 2003 as Head of Public Affairs. Prior to this, René Buholzer was a Member of the Executive Board of the Swiss business federation ‘economiesuisse’, where he was responsible for environmental, ICT, and regional policy. He also previously worked as a management consultant in Prague and as a teaching assistant at the University of St. Gallen (HSG), Switzerland.

René Buholzer holds a Ph.D. from the University of St. Gallen (HSG), where he still lectures on democracy and foreign affairs. He has written two books on the future of the European Union and Switzerland and on legislative lobbying in the European Union. The publications are based on the studies he completed as Visiting Research Fellow at the Center for European Policy Studies (CEPS) and the European Parliament’s Directorate-General for Research in Brussels and Luxembourg.

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