on 31.12.2020

Foundation Board

Heinrich M. Lanz
Chairman Swisscontact and Member of the Foundation Board
Thomas Bergen
Member of the Foundation Board
Monique Bourquin
Member of the Foundation Board,
Chair Person Finance Committee
Dr. Anna Crole-Rees
Member of the Foundation Board
Dr. Paul Hälg
Member of the Foundation Board
Dr. Christoph Lindenmeyer
Member of the Foundation Board
Armin Meier
Member of the Foundation Board
Thomas D. Meyer
Member of the Foundation Board
Isabelle Welton
Vice chair Swisscontact and Member of the Foundation Board

Foundation Council

  • Nicolas A. Aune (until 12.5.2020)
    General Secretary Union Industrielle Genevoise (UIG), Geneva
  • Thomas Bergen (Member of the Foundation Board)
    Co-founder and CEO getAbstract, Lucerne; Co-founder and Board Member, Amphasys AG, Root; Board Member, HopeNow, Lucerne
  • Monique Bourquin (Member of the Foundation Board; Chair Person Finance Committee )
    Member of the Board of Directors of Emmi AG, Lucerne; Straumann Holding AG, Basel; Kambly SA, Trubschachen; Weleda AG, Arlesheim, President of Promarca, Bern
  • Claudia Coninx-Kaczynski
    Member of the Board of Directors, Forbo Holding AG, Baar; Swisscontent AG, Zurich and Awina AG, Zurich; Member of the Board of Trustees/Vice President Orpheum Foundation for the Advancement of Young Soloists, Zurich; Member of the Board of Trustees Zoo Stiftung Zurich; Member of the Human Rights Watch Komitee, Zurich
  • Dr. Anna Crole-Rees (Member of the Foundation Board)
    Founder and  Consultant CRC4change, Lausanne; Partner at IKAT; Member of the Board of Trustees, foundations Opaline, Geneva, and IFWE, Lausanne
  • Béatrice Fischer
    Managing Director BF Advisory & Solutions AG, Erlenbach
  • Michèle Frey-Hilti
    Managing Director Hilti Family Foundation Liechtenstein, Schaan (FL)
  • Dr. Eduard C. Gnesa
    Former Special Ambassador for International Migration, Bern
  • Dr. Urs Grütter
    Owner and CEO Max Ditting AG, Zurich;  Initiator project «», Zurich
  • Prof. Dr. Fritz Gutbrodt
    Managing Director Chairman’s Office, Swiss Re Management Ltd, Zurich
  • Prof. Dr. Thomas A. Gutzwiller
    Chairman of the Board of Directors and Partner GWPartner AG, Gutzwiller, Wachsmann Partner, St. Gall
  • Dr. Paul Hälg (Member of the Foundation Board)
    Chairman of the Board of Directors Dätwyler Holding Inc., Altdorf, and Sika AG, Baar
  • Hans Hess (until 30.9.2020)
    President Hanesco AG, Pfäffikon SZ; President Swissmem, Zurich; 
    Chairman of the Supervisory Board R&M Holding AG, Wetzikon; Vice-Chairman dormakaba Holding AG, Rümlang
  • Hans Jöhr
    Former Corporate Head of Agriculture Nestlé SA, Vevey; Chairman of the Board of Directors Philafrica; Member of the Board of Directors IFCN (int. Farm Comp. Network), Kiel (DE); Hon. Chair BIP, Nigeria
  • Dr. Gottlieb A. Keller (until 12.5.2020)
    General Counsel, Member of the Corporate Executive Committee  F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, Basel
  • Heinrich M. Lanz (Chairman of Swisscontact and Member of the Foundation Board)
    Member of the Advisory Committee on International Cooperation, Bern; 
    Vice Chairman / Member of various Boards of Directors
  • Dr. Karin Lenzlinger Diedenhofen (from 12.5.2020)
    Entrepreneur, Member of the Board of Directors and President of Zurich Chamber of Commerce; Member of the Board of economiesuisse; Member of the Foundation Board of the Center for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (CCRS) at University of Zurich; Boardmember of B-Lab, (Swiss branch of the international organisation B-Corporation), Geneva
  • Dr. Christoph Lindenmeyer (Member of the Foundation Board) 
    CEO and Vice-Chairman of the AO Foundation, Davos; Chairman / Member of various Boards of Directors
  • Armin Meier (Member of the Foundation Board)
    Managing Director Boyden global executive search, Zurich; Member of the Board of Zug Estates Holding AG, Zug; Kibag, Zurich; Ameos Group, Zurich; IHAG Holding, Zurich; Evalueserve Holdings, Zug; IBS Software Services, Singapore
  • Dr. Myriam Meyer Stutz
    Member of the Supervisory Board of KUKA AG, Augsburg (DE); Lufthansa Technik AG, Hamburg (DE); Wienerberger AG, Vienna (AT); Bedag Informatik AG, Bern
  • Thomas D. Meyer (Member of the Foundation Board, 
    from 12.5.2020)
    Partner BLR & Partners AG, Zurich; Member of the Board Sunrise Communications Group AG, Zurich; Chairman Stoosbahnen AG, Stoos; Chairman CelciusPro AG, Zurich; Member of the Board Osterwalder AG, Lyss; Member of the Board Noser Group AG, Zurich
  • Dr. Reto Müller
    Partner BLR & Partners AG, Thalwil; Past President of the Helbling Group, Zurich; Chairman of the Board of Directors of Georg Utz Holding AG, Bremgarten; Board Member of Forbo and other companies
  • Prof. Dr. Ursula Renold
    Chair of Education Systems, D-MTEC, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich
  • Dr. Manuel Rybach
    Global Head of Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs Credit Suisse, Zurich
  • Dr. Thomas Sauber
    Of Counsel Lustenberger Attorneys-at-Law, Zurich
  • Ruedi Schmid
    Chairman of the Board of Directors ESIMAG Immobilien AG, Zurich, and Airport Taxi Zürich Kloten AG, Kloten; Member of the Board of Directors PrognosiX AG, Zurich; Member of the Board of Trustees Zoo Stiftung Zürich; Vice President of HANDELSchweiz (Trading Switzerland), Basel
  • Georges Theiler (until 12.5.2020)
    Entrepreneur, Lucerne
  • Isabelle Welton (Vice chair Swisscontact and Member of the Foundation Board)
    Entrepreneur and Member of various Boards, Founder and Consultant Rubidia GmbH, Zug; Member of the Board AG für die Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Zurich; Member of the Board of Trustees of the Stiftung SOS-Kinderdorf Schweiz, Bern; Member of the Board, Siegfried AG, Zofingen; Member of the Board of Trustees Lucerne Festivals, Lucerne; Member of the Executive Committee SIAF (Schweizerisches Institut für Auslandforschung) University of Zurich, Zurich
  • Leopold Wyss
    Former Head Sponsoring & Donations Novartis International AG, Basel


PricewaterhouseCoopers AG, Zurich

Executive Board

Philippe Schneuwly, Director Partners & Clients; Florian Meister, Director Operations & Quality; Stephanie Dreifuss, Director Products & Solutions; Anne Bickel, Director People & Learning; Samuel Bon, CEO and Executive Director; Stefan Schneider, Director Finance & Technology (from left)

Head of Departments

Regional Directors

Corporate Governance 

Swisscontact is committed to the principles of good governance for responsible management, control, and communication. The Foundation complies with the ZEWO accounting standards and fulfils the Swiss GAAP FER 21 guidelines for charitable and social non-profit organisations. Our Corporate Governance principles are outlined in various documents. These include our Foundation Certificate, Rules of Organisation, and Code of Conduct.

Foundation Council

The Foundation Council is Swisscontact’s highest governing body. As a strategic management and supervisory entity, it carries out executive and supervisory activities, taking on overall responsibility for the foundation, specifically in matters involving business activity, the management and use of its financial endowment, risk management, and internal monitoring and controls.

Foundation Board

The Foundation Board is in charge of the Executive Board’s ongoing business and activities. It also bears responsibility for and decision-making authority over the following in particular: issuing the Swisscontact mission statement and strategy developed by the Executive Board, long-term financial and business planning over several years, submitting requests to the Foundation Council for approval of internal and geographic areas of focus as well as project activities.

Finance and Audit Committeee

The Finance and Audit Committee (FinCom) is tasked by the Foundation Board with financial guidance and control and prepares informative documents and decisions on the Foundation Board’s behalf. FinCom performs comparative analyses of annual reports, sets Swisscontact’s investment policy, validates financial planning and controls, assesses the internal controls system, and evaluates the results of both external and internal audits.

Nomination and Compensation Committee

The Nomination Committee (NomCom) is tasked by the Foundation Board with preparing successorship rules for the Foundation Council, Foundation Board, Executive Steering Committee, and Executive Board, in addition to dealing with general strategic HR issues. NomCom is in charge of the following in particular: finding and evaluating suitable Foundation Council members, identifying the best candidates for the Foundation Board and FinCom, successorship planning for the CEO and Executive Board members, and monitoring the pool of next-generation leaders.

Executive Board

The Executive Board is headed by the CEO and is responsible for the organisation, both at Head Office and in the regions, accounting and planning, acquisitions, finance, preparation, and execution of development projects. It reports to the Foundation Council and Swisscontact’s donors. The Executive Board is in charge of strategy development and implementation as well as annual planning.

Audit Committee

The Audit Committee is appointed by the Foundation Council for a one-year term and carries out group reviews specifically.


All employees are bound by legal regulations and our internal guidelines. Compliance with the Swisscontact Code of Conduct is mandatory for all members of the Board of Trustees, employees and subcontractors. There is a whistleblowing line for anyone affected to report an issue to the Head Office, either anonymously or in-person. Internal rules, processes, proven methods, and procedures are accessible to all Swisscontact employees via our Intranet.

Risk management and the internal control system

Swisscontact implements various tools to monitor and mitigate risks related to projects, countries, and the organisation as a whole, keeping these continuously up-to-date. These tools include the system for risk management and internal controls. Our internal control system undergoes annual compliance reviews both at Head Office and in the regions. Based thereupon, the Executive Board can react quickly and in a targeted fashion, implementing measures wherever needed. Both risk management and the internal control system undergo an annual external audit, the results of which are reported to the Foundation Council.

Internal audits

Our internal audits check work processes for their correctness, regularity, appropriateness, and cost-effectiveness. The goal is to increase efficiency while reducing risk and identifying alternative ways of operating and areas where Executive Board members and Country Directors could improve. Due to the COVID-19 situation, internal audits were conducted via virtual meetings instead of on-site.

Swisscontact Services AG

The Swisscontact Foundation is the 100% shareholder of an incorporated company, headquartered in Zürich, under Art. 620 et seq. of the Swiss Code of Obligations. The company exercises its activities within the framework of Swisscontact’s charitable engagement; thus, only to the extent the Foundation does not want or is unable to engage in an activity undertaken by the company. The company provides services and takes on specific tasks – particularly for studies, consultancies, and training –also implementing various projects. The company may decide to pay out dividends to support the non-profit Swisscontact Foundation and only to the Foundation. In turn, the Foundation can use the dividends only for non-profit purposes. In 2019, Swisscontact ‘s Services AG entity acquired the Springfield Centre for Development (SFC) in England. SFC remains an independent subsidiary.

Swisscontact – Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation

We are a leading organisation for the implementation of international development projects. Founded in 1959 and registered under Swiss law, we are an independent non-profit organisation. We are politically and denominationally neutral.

Mission Statement 

We promote inclusive economic, social and ecological development  to make an effective contribution towards sustainable and widespread prosperity in developing and emerging economies. With this objective in mind, we offer the chance to economically and socially disadvantaged people to improve their lives on their own initiative.

What we do 

  • We strengthen the competencies of people, improving their employability.
  • We increase the competitiveness of enterprises, growing their business.
  • We foster social and economic systems, promoting inclusive development.

What we offer

  • Project Implementation
  • Advisory Services
  • Training
  • Applied Research
ZEWO Seal of Approval

ZEWO Seal of Approval: Swisscontact was awarded the Seal of Approval from ZEWO. It is awarded to non-profit organisations for the conscientious handling of money entrusted to them, proves appropriate, economical and effective allocation of donations and stands for transparent and trustworthy organisations with functioning control structures that uphold ethics in the procurement of funds and communication. Swisscontact is regularly audited on the adherence to these criteria. (Source: ZEWO)

Swisscontact is a member of Transparency International and UN Global Compact.

In the year of crisis that was 2020, Swisscontact was able to build on its many years of experience building stable structures, networks, and partnerships at the local level. This helps people, businesses, and the economy as a whole to find their way out of crises more quickly. 
Results and Impact
Swisscontact is implementing 117 projects in 39 countries. This is what we achieved in 2020.
Swisscontact focuses on four primary sustainability criteria. The following examples provide a glimpse into how these criteria make their way into daily project activities.
Financial Statement 2020
We thank all our partners (in alphabetical order).