Young Leaders Conference


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


Upcoming Conference

The 2023 Young Leaders Conference will take place at the Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue in Rüschlikon, with primary sponsorship by Swiss Re and Swiss International Air Lines.





Notable Alumni

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.”

American Alumni

Swiss Alumni

  • His Excellency Balz Abplanalp, Consul General of Switzerland in San Francisco(YL 2004)
  • Her Excellency Rita Adam, Ambassador Extrordinary and Plenipotentiary and Head of the Swiss Mission to the European Union  (YL 2009)
  • The Honorable Thomas Aeschi, Member of the National Council (YL 2014)
  • Florian Aigrain, CEO, Acutronic Group (YL 2021)
  • Raymond Bär, Chairman of the Board of Alpine-Select Ltd. (YL 1993)
  • His Excellency Félix Baumann, Ambassador, Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Office in Geneva (YL 2006)
  • Matthias Benz, Economics Correspondent at the Neue Zürcher Zeitung (YL 2007)
  • Manuela Bernasconi, Young Leaders Alumni Foundation Board Member, and General Counsel at Nestlé Nespresso (YL 2011)
  • Markus Binkert, CFO of Swiss International Air Lines (YL 2006)
  • Henry Bodmer, Managing Partner at Abegg & Co. AG (YL 2018)
  • Andreas Bohrer, Group General Counsel and Company Secretary at Lonza AG (YL 2009)
  • Dr. Silvio Bonaccio, Head of ETH Transfer at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (YL 2003)
  • Stéphane Bonamy, Head of Regional Delegation in Yaoundé at the International Committee of the Red Cross (YL 2008)
  • Gaetan Bordier, Limited Partner at Bordier & Cie (YL 1995)
  • Dr. Dagmar Maria Kamber Borens, Senior Vice President and Country Head Switzerland for State Street Bank International (YL 2010)
  • The Honorable Pascale Bruderer, social entrepreneur and former member of the Swiss Senate (YL 2008)
  • Stefan Brupbacher, Director of Swissmem (YL 2006)
  • Thomas Bucher, Group CFO at Archroma (YL 2001)
  • His Excellency Urs Bucher, Ambassador Extrordinary and Plenipotentiary to the State of Israel (YL 1995)
  • His Excellency Nicolas Brühl, Ambassador Extrordinary and Plenipotentiary to South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mauritius, and Namibia (YL 1998)
  • Dr. Renè Buholzer, Young Leaders Alumni Foundation Board Member and CEO of Interpharma (YL 2003)
  • Thierry Cagianut, Swiss Advisory Council Member and Partner at Baldi & Caratsch (YL 2010)
  • Dr. Alain Cahen, Swiss Advisory Council Member, Young Leaders Alumni Foundation Board Member, and CEO of Labor Team W AG (YL 1999)
  • Bertrand Demole, Managing Partner, Pictet Group (YL 2004)
  • Rolf Dörig, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Swiss Life (YL 1990)
  • Christoph Eisenring, Economics Journalist at Neue Zürcher Zeitung (YL 2003)
  • Beat Fellmann, Group CFO of Valora Group (YL 2004)
  • Robert Flatt, Professor for Building Materials, and Head of Physical Chemistry of Building Materials at ETH Zurich (YL 2005)
  • Alex Flückiger, CFO of Pax Life Insurance Company (YL 2007)
  • Rebecca Guntern, Head of Europe at Sandoz Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. (YL 2009)
  • His Excellency Patric Franzen, Minister and Deputy Head of Mission to the Russian Federation in Moscow (YL 2003)
  • His Excellency Christian Frutiger, Ambassador, Head of Thematic Cooperation at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (YL 2005)
  • Luciano Gabriel, Swiss Advisory Council Member and Chairman of PSP Swiss Property (YL 1992)
  • Lukas Gähwiler, Vice Chairman of UBS Switzerland (YL 2001)
  • Bruno Giussani, Global Curator for TED (YL 2003)
  • Peter Guggenbach, Chief Growth Officer at SWISSto12 SA (YL 2000)
  • Judith HäberliCo-founder and COO Urban Connect (YL 2022)
  • Dr. Marco Hasler, Head of Global Controlling at Schindler Elevator Group (YL 2011)
  • H.E. Ralf Heckner, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to India and Bhutan (YL 2001)
  • Judith Wittwer Herter, Editor-in-Chief of Süddeutsche Zeitung (YL 2005)
  • Jacqueline Hess, Swiss Advisory Council Member and CEO at Vontobel Swiss Wealth Advisors (YL 2007)
  • Patrick Hess, CEO of Schindler Elevator Corporation (YL 2014)
  • Patrick Heymann, CCO of Edelweiss Air (YL 2014)
  • Dr. Gieri Hinnen, Head of Cargo Global Sales at Swiss International Air Lines (YL 2019)
  • Martin Hirzel, President of Swissmem (YL 2006)
  • Arthur Honegger, Host of “10 vor 10” news magazine on SRF television (YL 2010)
  • Dr. Marco Hutter, Professor for Robotics at ETH Zurich (YL 2018)
  • His Excellency Olaf Kjelsen, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Canada (YL 2002)
  • Philippe Knüsel, CFO and Head of Management Services, and Member of the Group Executive Board at Delica AG (YL 2009)
  • Johannes Läderach, CEO, Läderach (Schweiz) AG (YL 2021)
  • Dominique Astrid Lévy, Founder of Lévy Gorvy Gallery (YL 1996)
  • Gabriela Lippe-Holst, ASF Board Member and Young Leaders Alumni Foundation President Emerita, and Co-Founder and Chair of Acqupart Holding AG (YL 2005)
  • Alexis Lombard, Young Leaders Alumni Foundation Board Member, and Managing Director of ODDO BHF (YL 2011)
  • The Honorable Christa Markwalder, Swiss Advisory Council Member and Member of the National Council of Switzerland (YL 2006)
  • Manuel Meier, Chief Transition Officer for Switzerland at AXA XL Insurance (YL 2012)
  • Martin Messner, Managing Partner at Messner Performance Partners (YL 1992)
  • His Excellency Hanspeter Mock, Ambassador Extrordinary and Plenipotentiary to Spain and Andorra (YL 1999)
  • Dr. Daniel Möckli, Head of Policy Planning at the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (YL 2009)
  • Deepak Mohan, Head of Reinsurance Origination, Managing Director at Swiss Re (YL 2022)
  • His Excellency Pietro Mona, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the African Union, IGAD, UNECA and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Djibouti (YL 2007)
  • Dr. Ralph Müller, Professor of Biomechanics at ETH Zurich (YL 2004)
  • Christian Mumenthaler, Group CEO of Swiss Re (YL 2003)
  • Christof Münger, Head of the International Department at Tages-Anzeiger (YL 2004)
  • Niklaus Nuspliger, Political Correspondent at Neue Zürcher Zeitung (YL 2013)
  • Thomas Peyer, CFO of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) (YL 2007)
  • Marc Pictet, Managing Partner at Pictet & Cie Group SCA (YL 2005)
  • Dr. Flurina Pletscher, Personalized Healthcare Partner at Roche Pharma (Schweiz) AG (YL 2021)
  • Dr. Patrick Raaflaub, Swiss Advisory Council Member and Group Chief Risk Officer at Swiss Re (YL 2000)
  • Dr. Felix Reiff, CEO of Bayer Consumer Care AG (YL 2003)
  • Urs Rohner, Independent Non-Executive Director of GSK (YL 1990)
  • Dr. Manuel Rybach, Swiss Advisory Council Secretary, and Global Head of Public Affairs and Regulatory Foresight at Credit Suisse Group AG (YL 2008)
  • Eric Sarasin, Entrepreneur in Residence at White Sailing Company (YL 1992)
  • Reto Savoia, CEO of Deloitte Switzerland (YL 2009)
  • His Excellency André Schaller, Ambassador Extrordinary and Plenipotentiary to Saudi Arabia (YL 1997)
  • Bettina Schaller, Young Leaders Alumni Foundation President, ASF Board Member, Swiss Advisory Council Executive Committee Member, and SVP Group Public Affairs Director at The Adecco Group (YL 2011)
  • Christoph Schärer, Chairman at Rendall AG (YL 1994)
  • Her Excellency Gabriele Schreier, Ambassador Extrordinary and Plenipotentiary to Slovenia
  • Florian Schwab, Publishing Director at Weltwoche (YL 2014)
  • Angel Serna, ASF Board Member and Senior Vice President of Global Public Affairs at Zurich Insurance Company (YL 2006)
  • Andreas Staubli, Swiss Advisory Council Member and CEO of PwC Switzerland (YL 2006)
  • Balthasar Staehelin, Special Envoy for Foresight and Techplomacy at the International Committee of the Red Cross (YL 1999)
  • Roman Stein, CFO of Swiss Life AG (YL 2008)
  • Michael Stucky, Young Leaders Alumni Foundation Vice President and Venture Partner, Scouting & Partnerships (YL 2003)
  • Dr. Roman Studer, Managing Director, Head of Governmental Affairs for Switzerland at UBS AG (YL 2018)
  • Markus Studhalter, Chief Audit Officer at Barry Callebaut AG (YL 2004)
  • Michael Syz, Managing Director Banque Pictet Wealth Management (YL 2009)
  • Karine Szegedi, Swiss Advisory Council Member and Member of the Management Board and Partner at Deloitte (YL 2012)
  • Dr. Suzanne Thoma, Executive Chair, Sulzer (YL 2000)
  • Camille Vial, Managing Partner at Mirabaud SCA (YL 2010)
  • Birgit Voigt, Editor of NZZ am Sonntag (YL 1993)
  • Daniel Weber, COO and Member of the Executive Committee at Rothschild & Co. Bank AG (YL 2010)
  • Martin Weber, Head of Agency Transformation & Communication Zurich Insurance Company (YL 2022) 
  • His Excellency Arno Wicki, Assistant Director General, Ambassador, Head of Asia - Latin American and Carribbean Division (YL 2000)
  • André Wyss, CEO of Implenia AG (YL 2002)
  • Alexandre Zeller, Managing Partner at Lombard Odier SA (YL 1996)
  • Alain Zucker, Managing Editor of NZZ am Sonntag (YL 2009)
  • Alois Zwinggi, Managing Director at the World Economic Forum (YL 1995)

Alumni Organization

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

Vice President

Michael Stucky | YL 2003 | ETH Zürich

President Emerita

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
Alain Cahen | YL 1999 | Labor Team W AG
Alexis Lombard | YL 2011 | Banque Landolt & Cie
Dr. Flurina Pletscher | YL 2021 | Roche