Ruth Metzler

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Person.png Ruth Metzler  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Ruth Metzler-Arnold.jpg
BornRuth Arnold
23 May 1964
Alma materUniversity of Fribourg
ReligionRoman Catholic
Spouse • Lukas Metzler
• Stephan Zimmermann
Member ofWEF/Global Leaders for Tomorrow/2002
PartyChristian Democratic People's Party of Switzerland
Member of the Swiss Federal Council from 1999 to 2003. Vice President of Switzerland 1 January 2003-31 December 2003. WEF/Global Leaders for Tomorrow/2002

Employment.png Vice President of Switzerland Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
1 January 2003 - 31 December 2003
Preceded byPascal Couchepin

Employment.png Member of the Swiss Federal Council

In office
1 May 1999 - 31 December 2003
Succeeded byChristoph Blocher

Ruth Metzler is a Swiss politician who was a Member of the Swiss Federal Council from 1999 to 2003. A member of the Christian Democratic People's Party (CVP/PDC), she headed the Federal Department of Justice and Police.

She was selected a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum in 2002, but failed to stay in politics in 2003.

Political career

Educated at the University of Fribourg, Metzler served as the cantonal executive in charge of finance in Appenzell Innerrhoden from 1996 to 1999.

She was elected to the Swiss Federal Council on 11 March 1999, as a member of the Christian Democratic People's Party.

Metzler took office at the Federal Department of Justice and Police the following 1 May, succeeding Arnold Koller; she won 14 referendums during her time in office. On 1 January 2003, she assumed the vice presidency of the Swiss Confederation.

She initiated and led a vast project of institutional reforms, in particular the reform of judicial and police institutions, including the implementation of the efficiency project, the establishment of a new federal judiciary and the criminal police, the total reform of the judicial organization and the creation of new federal courts, the reform of criminal prosecution and the implementation of the vast project of "re-examination" of the internal security system.

On 10 December 2003, she became the third Federal Councillor not to be reelected in the history of the Swiss Federal State. In the 2003 Federal Assembly election, her party lost many voters and the Swiss People's Party (SVP/UDC) became the largest party of Switzerland. The Swiss People's Party then requested another seat in the Federal Council. In the elections for the Federal Council on 10 December, the Federal Assembly did not reelect Metzler and elected Christoph Blocher instead, by 121 votes to 116 on the third round of voting. She challenged her CVP colleague Joseph Deiss for his seat, but lost by 138 to 96. Metzler kept her seat until the end of the year and Christoph Blocher succeeded her on 1 January 2004.

After politics

After leaving the Federal Council, Ruth Metzler-Arnold accepted a teaching position at the University of St. Gallen in 2004/05. In April 2005 she became Head of Legal and a member of the Executive Committee of the Swiss multinational pharma company Novartis in Paris. From November 2006 to the end of March 2010, she headed the Investor Relations department at the Novartis headquarters in Basel, responsible for the company's relationships with analysts and major investors. Metzler has been the owner of the consulting and communications company Metzler Strategy, Management, Communication AG since 2010.[1] Since 2011 she has been working with partners as the company Klaus-Metzler-Eckmann-Spillmann.

Since May 2011 she has been President of the Board of Directors of the foreign trade promoter Switzerland Global Enterprise (formerly OSEC).[2] She is also a member of the board of directors of AXA Winterthur[3], the technology group Bühler and, since 2012, of the University Council of the University of St. Gallen.[4]

Since 2015 she has been a member of the Board of Directors of FehrAdvice & Partners AG (founded in 2010 by Ernst Fehr and FehrAdvice CEO Gerhard Fehr), an economics and management consulting firm specializing in behavioral economics.[5]

Since July 1, 2018, Metzler has been President of the Foundation of the Pontifical Swiss Guard, which was previously chaired by former Federal Councilors Flavio Cotti and Pascal Couchepin.[6]

She is also listed on the website of the asylum support organization ORS AG as a member of the Advisory Board.[7]

She is mentioned in the Paradise Papers scandal in 2017.[8]


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