Expert Profile

Amb. Franz von Daeniken
Position(s) Former State Secretary and Political Director in the Swiss Foreign Ministry

Ambassador Franz von Daeniken is an Associate Fellow within the Global Fellowship Initiative of the GCSP.

Franz von Daeniken has been with the Drosos Foundation since its inception in 2005.

Previously, he was working as a Swiss diplomat for almost 30 years. He joined the diplomatic service in 1976. His career included assignments at Switzerland’s Mission to the European Communities in Brussels (1981 – 1986), and at the Swiss Embassy in London (1986 – 1989). He then was an Assistant Director in the Directorate for International Public Law. From 1993 until 1999 he was Deputy Political Director in charge of Switzerland’s relations with all European and North American countries.

In 1999, the Swiss Government appointed him State Secretary and Political Director in the Foreign Ministry. In that capacity, he prepared Switzerland’s accession to the United Nations. On behalf of the Swiss Government, he acted as a coordinator of the bilateral negotiations between Switzerland and the European Union. He initiated a Federal Bill on civil peace promotion, approved by Parliament in 2003. That Bill opened the way for a long-term policy of conflict resolution worldwide. He promoted relations between Switzerland and the USA, thus leading the way to the creation of a Joint Economic Commission as well as to the establishment of a Friends of Switzerland Caucus among congressmen and senators in Washington.

After leaving the Swiss Diplomatic service in 2005, he became CEO and Executive Board Member of the newly established Drosos Foundation. He built up this private Foundation that is committed to business-like philanthropy and that has its focus on social projects in favour of people living in difficult circumstances. The geographical focus of the Foundation is on the countries of the Middle East and of Northern Africa.

In 2012, he stepped down as CEO, while remaining an ordinary member of the Board.

Franz von Daeniken is a member of the Board of the European Institute at Zurich University. He also is a member of the Board of the Swiss Institute for Art Research.

Born October 16, 1949, in Winterthur/Switzerland, he was educated at the Einsiedeln Grammar School and at the Law School of Zurich University where he obtained a PhD. He is married with two children.