4 Jun 2010

Franz Perrez is Switzerland’s new Ambassador for the Environment

Franz Perrez will succeed Thomas Kolly as Head of the International Affairs Division at the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN). In this capacity, Perrez will also assume the office of Swiss Ambassador for the Environment and represent Switzerland at all important international negotiations in the area of the environment. On 4 June 2010, the Federal Council conferred the title of Ambassador on Mr Perrez.

Franz Perrez will assume the role of Head of the International Affairs Division at the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) on 1 June 2010. He will replace Thomas Kolly, who is due to take over as Ambassador at the Swiss Embassy in Guatemala in September 2010.

Perrez will represent Switzerland's international environmental policy abroad and will lead the Swiss delegations at international environmental negotiations. In this capacity, he will also head the Swiss delegation at the climate negotiations and represent Switzerland at top level meetings.
The Head of the International Affairs Division at the FOEN has traditionally held the title of Ambassador. This guarantees that Switzerland is represented at the same level as its partner states at international negotiations. Hence, the Federal Council conferred the title of Ambassador on Franz Perrez at its meeting of 4 June 2010, after his appointment as Head of division by Federal Councillor Moritz Leuenberger and the Board of the FOEN.

A lawyer with extensive international experience

Franz Perrez is 43 years old, and married with two children. After studying law in Bern and Paris, he worked at the Directorate of International Law at the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). He left the FDFA to study for a Master of Laws in the fields of international law and international environmental and economic law at the New York University School of Law. He completed his studies in New York with a doctoral thesis on the topic of sovereignty as a principle of cooperation. He then returned to Switzerland and took up a position at the WTO division of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). This was followed by a move to the FOEN where he has been Head of the Global Affairs Section of the International Affairs Division since 2001.

In this capacity, among other activities, Franz Perrez led the campaign for the establishment of the secretariats of the Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions in Geneva, represented Switzerland at the United Nations Forum on Forests, negotiated on behalf of Switzerland in the areas of chemicals, governance and environmental trade at the World Summit on Sustainability in 2002, and initiated the Swiss Task Force on Sustainable Public Procurements, the process for the exploitation of the synergies in the international chemicals and waste regimes, and the country-led initiative by Indonesia and Switzerland  to improve the effectiveness of the Basel Convention.

Address for enquiries:
Franz Perrez, Head of the International Affairs Division FOEN