About the Conference
The American Swiss Foundation’s Young Leaders Conference was initiated in 1990 to create person-to-person exchange and foster mutual understanding among the next generation of leaders in Switzerland and the United States.
Held in Switzerland each year, the conference brings together approximately 50 Americans and Swiss aged 28-40 for a week of intensive discussion and exchange on a broad range of current issues of importance to U.S.-Swiss relations; meetings with high-level diplomatic, government, business, media, and cultural leaders; and excursions to Switzerland’s beautiful mountains and historic landmarks. Participants are selected based on nominations by trusted advisors of the American Swiss Foundation. Because this is the Foundation’s defining program, the selection process is extremely competitive.
The Young Leaders Conference is made possible through the generosity of corporate and individual sponsors and Swiss International Air Lines, which provides travel sponsorship for U.S. participants.
Over the past thirty years, more than 1,400 alumni have participated in the Young Leaders Conference. To view previous classes, click here.
The American Swiss Foundation (ASF) fosters economic, cultural, political, and personal ties between the two countries through citizen-to-citizen direct diplomacy. ASF’s flagship Young Leaders Conference focuses on promising young people from both countries who will shape public opinion on both sides of the Atlantic in the years to come. ASF’s goal is to inspire these Young Leaders to continue the centuries-long Swiss-American friendship through active engagement with one another.
The alumni included in the curated lists below are influential government officials, entrepreneurs and business executives, media professionals, academics, and public policy experts dedicated to promoting deeper friendship and understanding between the two “sister republics.”
The Young Leaders Alumni Foundation is an independent non-profit organization that works to support the American Swiss Foundation in its outreach in Switzerland. YLAF hosts and supports educational and cultural events in both countries to give alumni an opportunity to stay up-to-date and learn more about the important Swiss-American relationship.
Alumni of the Conference now number over 1,400 leaders in both countries. Their strong personal relationships based on shared experiences in the Conference contribute to the continued excellent relations between the United States and Switzerland.
Bettina Schaller | Young Leader 2011 | The Adecco Group
Michael Stucky | YL 2003 | Teggwings
Gabriela Lippe-Holst | YL 2005 | Acqupart Holding AG
Members of the Board
Dr. Manuela Bernasconi | YL 2011 | Nestle Nespresso SA
Dr. René Buholzer | YL 2003 | Interpharma
Dr. Alain Cahen | YL 1999 | Labor Team W AG
Alexis Lombard | YL 2011 | Banque Landolt & Cie
Dr. Flurina Pletscher | YL 2021 | Roche
Patricia Schramm | YL 1999 | American Swiss Foundation