Professor Dr. Joseph Deiss
IAC Chairman, China Horse Club (2013 – 2016)
President, Swiss Confederation (2004)
President, Swiss Federal Council (2004)
Economics Minister, Switzerland (2003 – 2006)
Foreign Minister, Switzerland (1999 – 2002)
Federal Council of Switzerland (1999 – 2006)
President, 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (2010)
An economist and politician with extensive experience in multilateral affairs, Professor Dr. Joseph Deiss served in the Federal Council of Switzerland (Swiss cabinet) from 1999 to 2006. During this period, while holding the post of Economics Minister (2003 to 2006), he was elected to serve as President of the Swiss Confederation (2004) — a position which is rotated annually among Cabinet members. In this post he headed his country’s presidential delegation to the United Nations General Assembly. Earlier, while serving as Foreign Minister (1999 to 2002), he spearheaded Switzerland’s accession campaign to the UN.
Over the course of his term as a cabinet minister, Professor Dr. Deiss was active in the sphere of world trade, leading his country’s delegation at key negotiations of the Doha Round of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Cancun (Mexico), Montreal (Canada), Paris (France), Geneva (Switzerland) and Hong Kong (China). Professor Dr. Deiss has been a member of the board of governors of both the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and directed Switzerland’s negotiations with the European Union.
In the academic realm, Professor Dr. Deiss has been a Professor of Economics at a number of Swiss universities, as well as the Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences of the University of Fribourg. Since 2007, he has been Professor of Political Economy at the same university and is a Member of the Strategic Council of Saint Joseph University in Beirut (Lebanon).
Professor Dr. Deiss has been the recipient of numerous honours and distinctions including Japan’s Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun (2008) and France’s Officier de l’Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur (2007). He also holds honorary doctorates from the Business School of Lausanne, Switzerland (2008), the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland (2007), and the University of Sofia, Bulgaria (2001).
In 2013, Professor Dr. Deiss was appointed to be the inaugural Chairman of the International Advisory Council of the China Horse Club playing a key role in the establishment of the club and in its goals of both promoting the sport in Mainland China and to open new opportunities for Chinese in this industry. He is fluent in French, German, Italian and English.