HE Jacques Pitteloud

Ambassador of Switzerland

Jacques Pitteloud was appointed as Ambassador of Switzerland to the United States of America in 2019.

Ambassador Pitteloud was born on November 12th, 1962, in Zurich, Switzerland.

He joined the Swiss Foreign Service in 1987, being first assigned as an Advisor to the Foreign Minister. From 1988 to 1989, he served as a trade attaché at the Swiss Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

From 1990-1995, he served in the Swiss Strategic Intelligence Service. Following his service there, he acted as a personal advisor (General Staff matters and Intelligence) to two successive Defence Ministers until 1999. In 1999-2000, he served as the Head of a Study Group tasked to develop the future structures of the Swiss Armed Forces.
After having been a witness of the Rwanda Genocide in 1994, Dr Pitteloud created an organization dedicated to the task of hunting down and bringing to justice the perpetrators and he managed to have several of them prosecuted both by the international as well as domestic courts.

Dr Pitteloud then served as the first Intelligence Coordinator for the Swiss Government from 2000 to 2005: this function entailed drafting intelligence requirements for the executive, overseeing the drafting of strategic assessments on security-relevant topics, coordinating the work of the various intelligence services as well as of law enforcement and analysis agencies.
He then became the Director, Arms Control, Disarmament, Security Policy and Intelligence at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bern. For the duration of his tenure, Ambassador Pitteloud also headed the Swiss Delegation to the Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

From 2010 to 2015, Jacques Pitteloud was Swiss Ambassador to Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia and the Seychelles. He was instrumental in initiating and supporting various civil society initiatives as well as conservation programmes. Dr Pitteloud was also involved in a series of mediations in the region.

Jacques Pitteloud was Director General of the Swiss FDFA from September 2015 prior to being appointed as Swiss Ambassador to the United States in September 2019. As a Director General, he oversaw a budget of USD 3 Billion and was responsible for Human Resources of a 5400-FTE Organization. His tasks also entailed running IT and communications for the whole Ministry as well as heading the legal and translation services. The Director General was also responsible for the management of all FDFA buildings both in Switzerland and abroad.

Dr Pitteloud earned a Master’s Degree and a Ph.D. from the Law School at the University of Zürich (Master 1986, PhD 1987). Following his assignment in the Middle East, he graduated from the International Training Course in Security Policy (ITC) at Geneva University. He is a retired lieutenant colonel (General Staff) in the Swiss Armed Forces and was the commander of a Mechanized Infantry Battalion. A passionate bird photographer, Jacques Pitteloud has published his pictures in several books and publications in Kenya and South Africa.

Ambassador Pitteloud is married and father of a daughter. He speaks French, English, German, Swiss German, Italian and Spanish fluently and he has a basic knowledge of a few other languages.

January 16, 2020 at the The Hay-Adams Hotel