H.E. Alain Berset, Swiss Federal Councillor, Head of the Swiss Federal Department of Home Affairs and Health Minister
Alain Berset was born in Fribourg on 9 April 1972. He studied Political Science and Economics at the University of Neuchâtel where he graduated in 1996, later obtaining a doctorate in 2005. He is married and the father of three children.
While preparing his doctoral dissertation he worked as an assistant lecturer at the Research Institute for Regional Economic Development at the University of Neuchâtel. He then held a post as guest researcher at the Hamburg Institute of International Economics before becoming a strategic advisor at the Department of Economic Affairs of canton Neuchâtel. In 2006 he set up his own business as an independent strategy and communications advisor working primarily for associations, businesses and NGOs.
In 2003 Alain Berset was elected to the Council of States for the canton of Fribourg and was its president in the year 2008/2009. From 2005 until his election to the Federal Council he was vice president of the Social Democratic group. He was a member of numerous parliamentary committees, including the Finance Committee, the Committee for Economic Affairs and Taxation, the Legal Affairs Committee and the Finance Delegation. He chaired the Council Office, the Political Institutions Committee and the Delegation to the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie. Before his election to the Council of States he was president of the Social Democratic group in the Constitutional Council of canton Fribourg. Between 2001 and 2003 he was a member of the local parliament of his commune of residence.
In addition to his political appointments Alain Berset was president of the Swiss Tenants' Association - Western Switzerland Section, the Swiss Association for the promotion of AOC/IGP and ‘Les Buissonnets', a foundation for children and adults with disabilities.
He was elected to the Federal Council by the United Federal Assembly on 14 December 2011. Since 1 January 2012 he is head of the Federal Department of Home Affairs.