Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga was born in a hospital in Zug on 14 May 1960. She grew up in Sins in Freiamt, a region in the southeast of the canton of Aargau. After obtaining her high school leaving certificate, she attended the Lucerne Academy of Music where she studied to become a concert pianist. After travelling widely across the world, she continued her pianist and educational career at the Fribourg Academy of Music.
Simonetta Sommaruga was manager of the Swiss Consumer Protection Foundation from 1993 to 1999 and president of the foundation from 2000 to 2010. She served as a local councillor to the municipal government of Köniz from 1997 to 2005, heading the fire brigade and civil protection departments.
In 1999, Simonetta Sommaruga was elected to the National Council of Switzerland and in 2003 to the Council of States where she represented the canton of Bern until 2010. She was on the Council of States Committee for Economic Affairs and Taxes, on the Committee for Social Security and Health, and served as vice-president of the Committee for Environment, Spatial Planning and Energy. She was also vice-president of the Swiss Delegation to the Committee of Members of Parliament of the EFTA Countries and for Relations with the European Parliament (DelEFTA/EP).
The United Federal Assembly elected Simonetta Sommaruga as federal councillor on 22 September 2010. She has been head of the Federal Department of Justice and Police since 1 November 2010.
On 3 December 2014, the Federal Assembly elected Simonetta Sommaruga as President of the Swiss Confederation for 2015.
Mrs. Sommaruga is married to the writer Lukas Hartmann. In the winter she devotes her free moments to playing the piano and reading books of fiction. In summer, she loves spending time in her garden and hiking in the mountains.
- Born 14 May 1960 in a hospital in Zug as the third of four children.
- Place of origin: Lugano (Canton Ticino) and Eggiwil (Canton Bern)
- Mother: avid gardener and dedicated housewife. Father: plant manager of LONZA AG
- Married to Lukas Hartmann
Education and training
- 1980: High school leaving certificate (Type B) from the Bethlehem Grammar School, Immensee (Canton Schwyz)
- 1980: Trained as a pianist at the Lucerne Academy of Music
- 1983-1984: Further education in California (Stanford) and in Rome
- 1988-1991: Studied English and Spanish literature at the University of Fribourg (did not graduate)
- 1985: Concert appearances and educational work at the Academy of Music and the cantonal teacher training college in Fribourg; Organist at St.Jean’s Church
- 1985: Worked in a home for battered women in Fribourg
- 1993: Manager of the Swiss Consumer Protection Foundation in Bern
- Since 2000: President of the Swiss Consumer Protection Foundation
- 2003: President of SWISSAID
- Since 2008: Board member of SWISSAID
- 2002: Co-President of the Women’s Music Forum in Bern
- Since 2008: President of EQUAM (Foundation for External Quality Assurance in Medicine)
- Since 2008: Board member of Energieallianz
- Since 2009: Member of the foundation Slow Food Schweiz
- Since 2009: Board member of the Bärenpark Bern
- Since 2010: Member of the Board of Directors of Concret AG
Following her appointment as Federal Councillor, Simonetta Sommaruga resigned from all offices.
- Since 1986: Member of the Socialist Party of Switzerland
- 1997-2005: Municipal Councillor, head of the fire brigade and civil protection of Köniz; Officer for Cultural Affairs
- 1999: National Councillor, member of the Committee for Environment, Spatial Planning and Energy
- Since 2003: Member of the Council of States; member of the Committee for Economic Affairs and Taxes, 2008-2009 president of the Committee for Economic Affairs and Taxes, vice-president of the Committee for Environment, Spatial Planning and Energy, member of the Committee for Social Security and Health, vice-president of the EFTA Delegation / European Parliament, Member of the Office of the Council of States
- 22 September 2010: Election as Federal Councillor
- Since 1 November 2010: Head of the Federal Department of Justice and Police
- 3 december 2014: Election as president of the Swiss Confederation for 2015
Spoken: German, French, Italian, English, Spanish
Written: German, French, English, Spanish
Last modification 20.01.2023