Forum welcomes new vice president from Switzerland

Werner ThutWerner Thut of Switzerland has joined the Forum of Federations as vice president in charge of the organization’s development assistance programs.

Mr. Thut is on a three-year secondment from Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign affairs, where he was with the Division of the Americas between 2006 and 2008.  From 2003 to 2006, Mr. Thut was the Deputy Regional Director for Central America with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and was based in Managua, Nicaragua.

Before his foreign assignment, Mr. Thut was the head of the Development Policy Division at SDC, working out of the Agency’s headquarters in Bern from 1998 to 2003. Between 1992 and 1998, he was head of the planning and strategy division of the staff of the Swiss Federal Cabinet. Mr. Thut has a PhD in history from the University of Bern.

The Forum currently runs development assistance programs in Iraq, Nepal, Nigeria and Sudan and is in discussions with other countries to be added to the Forum’s portfolio of development activities.    

Mr. Thut, who joined the Forum Aug. 1, 2008, is fluent in German, English, French and Spanish.

The Forum’s other vice-president, Céline Auclair, one of the organization’s co-founders, will be heading the Forum’s core country programs and its indigenous program.