Federal Chancellor Walter Thurnherr

I don’t see myself as the eighth federal councillor, but rather as the most senior civil servant. My power is limited, but I do have a certain influence. My role is to mediate, offer guidance and coordinate, and I can make proposals.

Walter Thurnherr, Federal Chancellor

Walter Thurnherr, Federal Chancellor since 1 January 2016 (photo Rolf Weiss, 2016).

Federal Chancellor Walter Thurnherr, in office since 1 January 2016, acts as the Federal Council's chief of staff. He supports the President and the Federal Council in the performance of their government duties and he attends their weekly meetings.

Walter Thurnherr is married and the father of two adult children. He graduated from ETH Zurich in 1987 with a degree in theoretical physics. Walter Thurnherr joined the Swiss diplomatic service in 1989, where his postings included Moscow (twice) and New York. His career in the Federal Administration led to successive appointments as Secretary General of three ministries: the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, the Federal Department of Economic Affairs (now EAER) and the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications.