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President of the Swiss Confederation

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The President of the Swiss Confederation is the person elected by the Swiss Federal Council to chair its meetings and to represent Switzerland. The president is elected for one year, and is first among equals. It is very much a ceremonial role. The president does not have the powers of the United States President or British Prime Minister, instead the president carries out the duties of President of the Confederation at the same time as carrying out the ministerial duties as a member of the Federal Council.


Under the Swiss constitution of 1999, the Federal Council is the "highest executive authority". Although the president of the confederation has some extra duties to represent Switzerland, he is not the head of state.

All decisions are that a head of state would make are decided by a meeting of the Federal Council. For example, treaties are signed on behalf of the Federal Council, and all members of the federal council sign the "letters of credence" to introduce ambassadors sent by Switzerland to a foreign country. All ambassadors sent by a foreign country to Switzerland meet all of the members of the Federal Council, not just the President.

The President of the Confederation is sometimes called the "primus inter pares" (first equal) in the Federal Council.

Only three other countries in the world do not have one person as a head of state, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Andorra and San Marino.

List of Presidents and Vice Presidents of the Swiss Confederation

Current members of the Federal Council are in bold

Year President Vice-president
2014 Didier Burkhalter Simonetta Sommaruga
2013 Ueli Maurer Didier Burkhalter
2012 Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf Ueli Maurer
2011 Micheline Calmy-Rey Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf
2010 Doris Leuthard Moritz Leuenberger[1]
Micheline Calmy-Rey
2009 Hans-Rudolf Merz Doris Leuthard
2008 Pascal Couchepin Hans-Rudolf Merz
2007 Micheline Calmy-Rey Pascal Couchepin
2006 Moritz Leuenberger Micheline Calmy-Rey
2005 Samuel Schmid Moritz Leuenberger
2004 Joseph Deiss Samuel Schmid
2003 Pascal Couchepin Ruth Metzler-Arnold
2002 Kaspar Villiger Pascal Couchepin
2001 Moritz Leuenberger Kaspar Villiger
2000 Adolf Ogi Moritz Leuenberger
1999 Ruth Dreifuss Adolf Ogi
1998 Flavio Cotti Ruth Dreifuss
1997 Arnold Koller Flavio Cotti
1996 Jean-Pascal Delamuraz Arnold Koller
1995 Kaspar Villiger Jean-Pascal Delamuraz
1994 Otto Stich Kaspar Villiger
1993 Adolf Ogi Otto Stich
1992 René Felber Adolf Ogi
1991 Flavio Cotti René Felber
1990 Arnold Koller Flavio Cotti
1989 Jean-Pascal Delamuraz Elisabeth Kopp
1989 Jean-Pascal Delamuraz Arnold Koller
1988 Otto Stich Jean-Pascal Delamuraz
1987 Pierre Aubert Otto Stich
1986 Alphons Egli Pierre Aubert
1985 Kurt Furgler Alphons Egli
1984 Leon Schlumpf Kurt Furgler
1983 Pierre Aubert Willi Ritschard
1982 Fritz Honegger Pierre Aubert
1981 Kurt Furgler Fritz Honegger
1980 Georges-André Chevallaz Kurt Furgler
1979 Hans Hürlimann Georges-André Chevallaz
1978 Willi Ritschard Hans Hürlimann
1977 Kurt Furgler Willi Ritschard
1976 Rudolf Gnägi Kurt Furgler
1975 Pierre Graber Rudolf Gnägi
1974 Ernst Brugger Pierre Graber
1973 Roger Bonvin Ernst Brugger
1972 Nello Celio Roger Bonvin
1971 Rudolf Gnägi Nello Celio
1970 Hans-Peter Tschudi Rudolf Gnägi
1969 Ludwig von Moos Hans-Peter Tschudi
1968 Willy Spühler Ludwig von Moos
1967 Roger Bonvin Willy Spühler
1966 Hans Schaffner Roger Bonvin
1965 Hans-Peter Tschudi Hans Schaffner
1964 Ludwig von Moos Hans-Peter Tschudi
1963 Willy Spühler Ludwig von Moos
1962 Paul Chaudet Jean Bourgknecht
1962 Paul Chaudet Willy Spühler
1961 Friedrich Traugott Wahlen Paul Chaudet
1960 Max Petitpierre Friedrich Traugott Wahlen
1959 Paul Chaudet Giuseppe Lepori
1958 Thomas Holenstein Paul Chaudet
1957 Hans Streuli Thomas Holenstein
1956 Markus Feldmann Hans Streuli
1955 Max Petitpierre Markus Feldmann
1954 Rodolphe Rubattel Josef Escher
1953 Philipp Etter Rodolphe Rubattel
1952 Karl Kobelt Philipp Etter
1951 Eduard von Steiger Karl Kobelt
1950 Max Petitpierre Eduard von Steiger
1949 Ernst Nobs Max Petitpierre
1948 Enrico Celio Ernst Nobs
1947 Philipp Etter Enrico Celio
1946 Karl Kobelt Philipp Etter
1945 Eduard von Steiger Karl Kobelt
1944 Walther Stampfli Marcel Pilet-Golaz
1943 Enrico Celio Walther Stampfli
1942 Philipp Etter Enrico Celio
1941 Ernst Wetter Philipp Etter
1940 Marcel Pilet-Golaz Hermann Obrecht
1940 Marcel Pilet-Golaz Rudolf Minger
1939 Philipp Etter Marcel Pilet-Golaz
1938 Johannes Baumann Philipp Etter
1937 Giuseppe Motta Johannes Baumann
1936 Albert Meyer Giuseppe Motta
1935 Rudolf Minger Albert Meyer
1934 Marcel Pilet-Golaz Rudolf Minger
1933 Edmund Schulthess Marcel Pilet-Golaz
1932 Giuseppe Motta Edmund Schulthess
1931 Heinrich Häberlin Giuseppe Motta
1930 Jean-Marie Musy Heinrich Häberlin
1929 Robert Haab Karl Scheurer
1928 Edmund Schulthess Robert Haab
1927 Giuseppe Motta Edmund Schulthess
1926 Heinrich Häberlin Giuseppe Motta
1925 Jean-Marie Musy Heinrich Häberlin
1924 Ernest Chuard Jean-Marie Musy
1923 Karl Scheurer Ernest Chuard
1922 Robert Haab Karl Scheurer
1921 Edmund Schulthess Robert Haab
1920 Giuseppe Motta Edmund Schulthess
1919 Gustave Ador Giuseppe Motta
1918 Felix-Louis Calonder Eduard Müller
1917 Edmund Schulthess Felix-Louis Calonder
1916 Camille Decoppet Edmund Schulthess
1915 Giuseppe Motta Camille Decoppet
1914 Arthur Hoffmann Giuseppe Motta
1913 Eduard Müller Arthur Hoffmann
1912 Ludwig Forrer Eduard Müller
1911 Marc-Emile Ruchet Ludwig Forrer
1910 Robert Comtesse Marc-Emile Ruchet
1909 Adolf Deucher Robert Comtesse
1908 Ernst Brenner Joseph Zemp
1908 Ernst Brenner Adolf Deucher
1907 Eduard Müller Ernst Brenner
1906 Ludwig Forrer Eduard Müller
1905 Marc-Emile Ruchet Ludwig Forrer
1904 Robert Comtesse Marc-Emile Ruchet
1903 Adolf Deucher Robert Comtesse
1902 Joseph Zemp Adolf Deucher
1901 Ernst Brenner Joseph Zemp
1900 Walter Hauser Ernst Brenner
1899 Eduard Müller Walter Hauser
1898 Eugène Ruffy Eduard Müller
1897 Adolf Deucher Eugène Ruffy
1896 Adrien Lachenal Adolf Deucher
1895 Joseph Zemp Adrien Lachenal
1894 Emil Frey Joseph Zemp
1893 Karl Schenk Emil Frey
1892 Walter Hauser Karl Schenk
1891 Emil Welti Walter Hauser
1890 Antoine Louis John Ruchonnet Emil Welti
1889 Bernhard Hammer Antoine Louis John Ruchonnet
1888 Wilhelm Hertenstein Bernhard Hammer
1887 Numa Droz Wilhelm Hertenstein
1886 Adolf Deucher Numa Droz
1885 Karl Schenk Adolf Deucher
1884 Emil Welti Karl Schenk
1883 Antoine Louis John Ruchonnet Emil Welti
1882 Simeon Bavier Antoine Louis John Ruchonnet
1881 Numa Droz Simeon Bavier
1880 Emil Welti Fridolin Anderwert
1879 Bernhard Hammer Emil Welti
1878 Karl Schenk Bernhard Hammer
1877 Joachim Heer Karl Schenk
1876 Emil Welti Joachim Heer
1875 Johann Jakob Scherer Eugène Borel
1874 Karl Schenk Emil Welti
1873 Paul Ceresole Karl Schenk
1872 Emil Welti Paul Ceresole
1871 Karl Schenk Emil Welti
1870 Jakob Dubs Karl Schenk
1869 Emil Welti Victor Ruffy
1868 Jakob Dubs Emil Welti
1867 Constant Fornerod Jakob Dubs
1866 Melchior Josef Martin Knüsel Constant Fornerod
1865 Karl Schenk Melchior Josef Martin Knüsel
1864 Jakob Dubs Karl Schenk
1863 Constant Fornerod Jakob Dubs
1862 Jakob Stämpfli Constant Fornerod
1861 Melchior Josef Martin Knüsel Jakob Stämpfli
1860 Friedrich Frey-Herosé Melchior Josef Martin Knüsel
1859 Jakob Stämpfli Friedrich Frey-Herosé
1858 Jonas Furrer Jakob Stämpfli
1857 Constant Fornerod Jonas Furrer
1856 Jakob Stämpfli Constant Fornerod
1855 Jonas Furrer Jakob Stämpfli
1854 Friedrich Frey-Herosé Ulrich Ochsenbein
1853 Wilhelm Matthias Naeff Friedrich Frey-Herosé
1852 Jonas Furrer Wilhelm Matthias Naeff
1851 Martin J. Munzinger Jonas Furrer
1850 Daniel-Henri Druey Martin J. Munzinger
1849 Jonas Furrer Daniel-Henri Druey
1848 Jonas Furrer Daniel-Henri Druey