The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) represents Switzerland abroad. It has been headed by Ignazio Cassis since November 2017.
Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis
Ignazio Cassis was born on 13 April 1961. In 1987 he earned a degree in medicine from the University of Zurich. In 1996 he obtained a post-graduate diploma in public health from the University of Geneva. In 1998 he completed specialist training in general medicine and in prevention and public health. He practised medicine between 1988 and 1996. Between 1996 and 2008 he served as the Canton of Ticino’s Chief Health Officer. Between 2008 and 2012 he was vice president of the Swiss Medical Association. He has lectured at various universities in Switzerland. He was president of CURAVIVA Switzerland (Association of Swiss Care Homes and Social Institutions) and of Curafutura, the association of innovative health insurers.
Ignazio Cassis was elected to the National Council as a member of the FDP for the canton of Ticino in 2007. From 2015 until his election to the Federal Council he was president of the FDP-Liberal parliamentary group. He was also chair of the National Council Social Security and Health Committee from 2015.
Ignazio Cassis is married.
Election to the Federal Council
On 20 September 2017 the Federal Assembly elected Ignazio Cassis to the Federal Council. Since 1 November 2017 he heads the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.
The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA)
The FDFA protects Switzerland’s interests abroad and implements the Federal Council’s foreign policy. This involves fostering and expanding relations with neighbouring states and the EU. The FDFA also wants to improve its services for Swiss living abroad by modernising its technology.
FDFA facts and figures
Staff (full-time positions /2018): 5499
Expenses 2018: CHF 2,95 billion
Last modification 13.02.2020