Urs Ziswiler was appointed ambassador of Switzerland to the United States on March 25, 2006. Ambassador Ziswiler most recently served as head of the Directorate of Political Affairs at the Federal De partment of Foreign Affairs and as senior diplomatic advisor to the minister of foreign affairs. Since joining the Foreign Service in 1979, Ambassador Ziswiler has held a number of postings both in Bern and abroad, including ambassador to Canada and the Bahamas (1999-2004), chargé d’affaires for Yugoslavia and Bosnia and Herzegovina (1993), as well as deputy chief of mission of the Swiss embassies in Buenos Aires (1994-95), Tel Aviv (1988-90), Kinshasa, Lagos and Oslo (1980-85). In Bern, Ambassador Ziswiler served as head of the Political Division for Human Rights and Humanitarian Policy and coordinator for international refugee policy (1995-99), as well as spokesman and head of the Information Department in the European Integration Office (1990-92).
Ambassador Ziswiler began his career as a junior expert for the World Bank in Madagascar and later served as a delegate of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Beirut, Gaza, Tel Aviv and Kampala.
He holds a law degree from the University of Geneva and the University of Zurich, and has a post-graduate diploma on developing countries from the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. Ambassador Ziswiler is fluent in German, English, French, Spanish and Italian and has a basic knowledge of Arabic.
He is married to Ronit Ziswiler and has two children.