Before her latest appointment, Ms. Baeriswyl was her country’s State Secretary of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, a position to which she was appointed in September 2016. As the first woman ever to head the Swiss diplomatic service, she conducted more than 70 bilateral consultations and negotiations. She also represented Switzerland at numerous multilateral and ministerial meetings, including at the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
In her role as State Secretary, she put special emphasis on human security and Switzerland’s mediation and facilitation efforts, contributing to discussions between Iran and Saudi Arabia, Iran and Canada, and the peace process in Colombia. She also served on the World Economic Forum’s Future Council on Europe from 2018 to 2020 and is currently a member of the Advisory Board of EqualVoice, an organization that aims to increase women’s visibility in media coverage.
In 2013, holding the rank of Ambassador, Ms. Baeriswyl became Vice-Director of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs’ Directorate of International Law, focusing mainly on asset recovery, international law and international treaties. From 2008 to 2013, she headed the political team at Switzerland’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, having previously been responsible for foreign and security policy at the Swiss Mission to the European Union in Brussels from 2005 to 2008.
She joined Switzerland’s diplomatic service in 2000, serving in the Directorate of International Law and in the Embassy in Hanoi before taking over the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs’ Asia desk as Deputy Head of the Human Rights Policy Section.
She was elected to the Civil Court of Basel province in 1998, serving as an ordinary judge for three years. From 1999 to 2000, she headed the cantonal office against domestic violence in Basel, after working from 1994 as a researcher and legal adviser on domestic violence for the Swiss National Science Foundation.
Ms. Baeriswyl, who studied in Basel, Geneva and Paris, holds a master’s degree in private and public law and a master’s degree in history, French literature and linguistics, both from the University of Basel.
Born in 1968, she is married and has two adult children. She is also a passionate jazz saxophone player and skier.