Conference room

Ruth Dreifuss

Ruth Dreifuss studied in Geneva where she received a degree in economics with a special focus on econometrics in 1971. She worked for nine years in the Swiss Agency for Development and Humanitarian Aid (Federal Department of Foreign Affairs) and in 1981 became the Secretary of the Swiss Labour Union Federation. In that capacity, she was responsible for sectors including social insurance, labour law, gender equality and relations with the International Labour Organization (ILO). Ruth Dreifuss was elected Federal Councillor (Member of the Swiss government) in 1993 by the Federal Assembly (Parliament), and was re-elected twice. From 1993 to her resignation in 2002 she was Head of the Federal Department of Home Affairs, the ministry responsible for public health, social insurance, scientific research, higher education, gender equality, culture, and environment. During the year 1999, Ruth Dreifuss was President of the Swiss Confederation. Being responsible for public health and social insurance, she implemented a new policy in the fields of drug addiction and prevention of HIV/Aids. She was also tasked with the introduction of the new law on health insurance, which guaranteed universal coverage for the Swiss population. After her retirement from government, she contributed to the WHO report on intellectual property rights, innovation and public health.

Ruth Dreifuss is Doctor honoris causa of the Universities of Haifa, Jerusalem and Fribourg (Switzerland) and a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy

Nigel Inkster

Nigel Inkster is the Director of Transnational Threats and Political Risk at the International Institute of Strategic Studies. This role involves: Analysis of international political risk and development of programmes on counter terrorism, international crime, proliferation of CBRN, cross-border conflict and other transnational/global issues.  Nigel is also responsible for the IISS Armed Conflict Database. Nigel Inkster served for 31 years in the British Secret intelligence Service (SIS). He had postings in Asia, Latin America and Europe and worked extensively on transnational security issues. He was on the Board of SIS (commonly known as MI6) for seven years, the last two as Assistant Chief and Director for Operations and Intelligence. He graduated from St. John’s College Oxford with a first-class degree in oriental studies. His languages include Chinese and Spanish. He is currently Chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Committee on Terrorism. His publications include: Drugs, Insecurity and Failed States: the Problems of Prohibition and The FARC Files: Venezuela, Ecuador and the Secret Archive of Raul Reyes