Simonetta Sommaruga

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Simonetta Sommaruga
Simonetta Sommaruga 2016.jpg
Sommaruga in 2016
President of Switzerland
In office
1 January 2020 – 31 December 2020
Vice PresidentGuy Parmelin
Preceded byUeli Maurer
Succeeded byGuy Parmelin
In office
1 January 2015 – 31 December 2015
Vice PresidentJohann Schneider-Ammann
Preceded byDidier Burkhalter
Succeeded byJohann Schneider-Ammann
Vice President of Switzerland
In office
1 January 2019 – 31 December 2019
PresidentUeli Maurer
Preceded byUeli Maurer
Succeeded byGuy Parmelin
In office
1 January 2014 – 31 December 2014
PresidentDidier Burkhalter
Preceded byDidier Burkhalter
Succeeded byJohann Schneider-Ammann
Head of the Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications
Assumed office
1 January 2019
Preceded byDoris Leuthard
Head of the Department of Justice and Police
In office
1 November 2010 – 31 December 2018
Preceded byEveline Widmer-Schlumpf
Succeeded byKarin Keller-Sutter
Member of the Swiss Federal Council
Assumed office
1 November 2010
Preceded byMoritz Leuenberger
Personal details
Born
Simonetta Myriam Sommaruga

(1960-05-14) 14 May 1960 (age 61)
Zug, Switzerland
Political partySocial Democratic Party
Spouse(s)Lukas Hartmann
EducationLucerne University

Simonetta Myriam Sommaruga (born 14 May 1960)[1] is a Swiss politician who has served as a Member of the Swiss Federal Council since 2010. A member of the Social Democratic Party (SP/PS), she was President of the Swiss Confederation in 2015 and 2020.

A former director of the Consumer Protection Foundation, which merged into the Swiss Alliance of Consumer Organisations in 2010, Sommaruga has headed the Federal Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications since 2019, previously heading the Federal Department of Justice and Police (2010–2018).[2] She served as Vice President of Switzerland for 2014 and 2019. Sommaruga assumed the role of President of the Swiss Confederation in 2015, before returning to the position in 2020. She resides in the canton of Bern.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Born in Zug,[3] Sommaruga grew up with two brothers and a sister in Sins, Aargau. She attended the gymnasium at Immensee, Schwyz and trained as a pianist at the Lucerne School of Music of Lucerne University. From 1988 to 1991, she attended English and Romance studies at the University of Fribourg, but did not graduate.[4]

Professional career[edit]

Sommaruga held the directorship of the Consumer Protection Foundation (German: Stiftung für Konsumentenschutz) from 1993 to 1999, which earned her public recognition in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, where it was active. She held the presidency of that foundation from 2000 to 2010, as well as that of the aid organisation Swissaid from 2003 to 2008. She was also patron of SAFFA 2020, alongside then-Federal Councillors Doris Leuthard and Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, as well as former Federal Councillor Micheline Calmy-Rey.[5]

Political career[edit]

2020 Swiss Federal Council
Sommaruga meeting with US President Donald Trump at the Davos Congress Centre, 2020

Sommaruga's political career began as a member of the Grand Council of Bern from 1981 to 1990. She served in the municipal government of Köniz from 1997 to 2005.[6] In 1999, she was elected to the National Council; in 2003 she became a member of the Federal Assembly's upper house, the Council of States, representing the canton of Bern.[6]

On 11 August 2010, she announced her candidacy to succeed fellow party member Moritz Leuenberger, who had announced his resignation, in the upcoming election to the Federal Council.[7] Sommaruga was elected by the Federal Assembly on 22 September 2010.[6] She was eventually elected for a full four-year term in 2011, before successfully seeking reelection in 2015 and 2019.

On 4 December 2013, Sommaruga was elected as Vice President of Switzerland by the Federal Assembly for 2014, alongside Didier Burkhalter, who was elected President of the Swiss Confederation. On 3 December 2014, she was elected to the presidency for 2015, alongside Johann Schneider-Ammann as Vice President of Switzerland. Her first international presidential trip was to Paris, where she joined the Republican marches of 11 January 2015, organised to defend freedom of speech following the Charlie Hebdo shooting, perpetrated by Islamic terrorists. She served as President of the Confederation until 31 December 2015, when Schneider-Ammann succeeded her.

On 1 January 2019, she returned to the vice presidency under President Ueli Maurer. Sommaruga became President of the Swiss Confederation again in 2020, a year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic.[8] She was succeeded by Guy Parmelin on 1 January 2021.

Personal life[edit]

Sommaruga, who is married to writer Lukas Hartmann, lives in Spiegel near Bern.[1] She is a distant relative of Cornelio Sommaruga and fellow politician of the Social Democratic Party of Switzerland Carlo Sommaruga.

Publications[edit]

  • Für eine moderne Schweiz. Ein praktischer Reformplan, with Rudolf Strahm, Nagel & Kimche, Munich, 2005, ISBN 3-312-00356-3
  • "Gurtenmanifest für eine neue und fortschrittliche SP-Politik" (PDF). (235 KB), 10 May 2001

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Biography of Simonetta Sommaruga on the website of the Swiss Parliament.
  2. ^ "Leuthard au DETEC, Widmer-Schlumpf aux finances". TSR Télévision Suisse Romande. SRG SSR. 27 September 2010. Archived from the original on 30 September 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
  3. ^ Eidgenössisches Justiz- und Polizeidepartement. Bundesrätin Simonetta Sommaruga Archived 19 October 2018 at the Wayback Machine (retrieved 10 June 2017).
  4. ^ The federal council - curriculum vitae of Simonetta Sommaaruga[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Patronat" (in German). 2020.ch. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  6. ^ a b c UVEK, Eidgenössisches Departement für Umwelt, Verkehr, Energie und Kommunikation. "Lebenslauf". uvek.admin.ch (in German). Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  7. ^ "Radio Télévision Suisse". rts.ch. Archived from the original on 30 June 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  8. ^ "Socialist Sommaruga Takes Over Swiss Presidency". Voice of America (from Agence France-Presse). 1 January 2020. Retrieved 2 January 2020.

External links[edit]

Media related to Simonetta Sommaruga at Wikimedia Commons

Political offices
Preceded by Member of the Swiss Federal Council
2010–present
Incumbent
Preceded by Head of the Department of Justice and Police
2010–2018
Succeeded by
Preceded by Vice President of Switzerland
2014
Succeeded by
President of Switzerland
2015
Preceded by Vice President of Switzerland
2019
Succeeded by
Preceded by Head of the Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications
2019–present
Incumbent
Preceded by President of Switzerland
2020
Succeeded by