Chancellor of Switzerland

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Federal Chancellor of Switzerland
Other official names
    • Bundeskanzler(in)  (German)
    • Chancelier(-ière) de la Confédération  (French)
    • Cancelliere(-a) della Confederazione  (Italian)
    • Chancelier(a) da la Confederaziun  (Romansh)
Logo der Schweizerischen Eidgenossenschaft.svg
Federal logo of the Swiss Confederation
Bundesrat der Schweiz 2017 (cropped, Walter Thurnherr).jpg
Walter Thurnherr

since 1 January 2016
StyleMr. Chancellor
His Excellency
ResidenceFederal Palace
Term lengthFour years, renewable
Inaugural holderJean-Marc Mousson

The Federal Chancellor (German: Bundeskanzler(in); French: Chancelier(-ière) fédéral(e); Italian: Cancelliere(-a) della Confederazione; Romansh: Chancelier(a) federal(a)) is the head of the Federal Chancellery of Switzerland, which acts as the general staff of the seven-member Federal Council. The Swiss Chancellor is not a member of the government, and the office of Chancellor is not at all comparable to that of the Chancellor of Germany or the Chancellor of Austria.[1]

The Federal Chancellor is elected for a four-year term by the Federal Assembly, assembled together as the United Federal Assembly, at the same time as it elects the Federal Council. The current Chancellor, Walter Thurnherr, a member of the Christian Democratic People's Party from Aargau, was elected on 9 December 2015 and began his term on 1 January 2016.


One or two vice-chancellors are also appointed. In contrast to the chancellor, they are appointed directly by the Federal Council. Before 1852, the position was called the State Secretary of the Confederation.


The position is a political appointment and has only a technocratic role.

The Chancellor attends meetings of the Federal Council but does not have a vote. The Chancellor also prepares the Federal Council's reports to the Federal Assembly on its policy and activities. Still, the Chancellor's position is often referred to as that of an 'eighth Federal Councillor'. The chancellery is also responsible for the publication of all federal laws.

List of Federal Chancellors[edit]

# From-To Name Born-Died Party Canton
1 1803–1830 Jean Marc Samuel Isaac Mousson Jean Marc Samuel Isaac Mousson 1776–1861 Liberal Vaud
2 1831–1847 Josef Franz Karl Amrhyn Josef Franz Karl Amrhyn 1800–1849 Liberal Lucerne
3 1848–1881 Johann Ulrich Schiess Johann Ulrich Schiess 1813–1883 Liberal Appenzell Ausserrhoden
4 1882–1909 Gottlieb Ringier Gottlieb Ringier 1837–1929 Liberal Aargau
5 1910–1918 Hans Schatzmann Hans Schatzmann 1848–1923 Free Democratic Party Aargau
6 1919–1925 Adolf von Steiger Adolf von Steiger 1859–1925 Free Democratic Party Bern
7 1925–1934 Robert Käslin Robert Käslin 1871–1934 Free Democratic Party Nidwalden
8 1934–1943 George Bovet George Bovet 1874–1946 Free Democratic Party Neuchâtel
9 1944–1951 Oskar Leimgruber Oskar Leimgruber 1886–1976 Christian Democratic People's Party Fribourg
10 1951–1967 Charles Oser Charles Oser 1902–1994 Free Democratic Party Basel-City
11 1968–1981 Karl Huber Karl Huber 1915–2002 Christian Democratic People's Party St. Gallen
12 1981–1991 Walter Buser Walter Buser 1926–2019 Social Democratic Party Basel-Landschaft
13 1991–1999 François Couchepin François Couchepin 1935– Free Democratic Party Valais
14 1 January 2000 – 31 December 2007 Annemarie Huber-Hotz Annemarie Huber-Hotz 1948–2019 Free Democratic Party Zug
15 1 January 2008 – 31 December 2015 Corina Casanova Corina Casanova 1956– Christian Democratic People's Party Graubünden
16 1 January 2016 – present Walter Thurnherr Walter Thurnherr 1963– Christian Democratic People's Party Aargau

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Siegenthaler, Peter (31 December 2019). "What does the Swiss chancellor actually do?". Swissinfo. Retrieved 9 January 2020.

External links[edit]