BIOGRAPHYThomas Schneider — Swiss Federal Office of Communications
Thomas Schneider is Ambassador and Director of International Affairs at the Swiss Federal Office of Communication (OFCOM) in the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC). He is a long- standing expert in digital governance and in the governance of the information and knowledge society and is leading the Swiss delegation in various key international fora in these fields. He has been coordinating the Swiss activities with regard to the implementation and follow-up of the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) since 2003. He has been responsible for organizing the 2017 UN Internet Governance Forum in Geneva, on behalf of the Swiss government, has chaired ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) from 2014 to 2017 and is chairing the Council of Europe’s Steering Committee on Media and Information Society (CDMSI) (since 2018) and he is the president of the EuroDIG Support Association (since 2012).
Mr. Schneider has represented Switzerland in the UN Commission on
Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) which is responsible for
assessing the WSIS Follow-up in the UN System, since 2006.
He is participating in the UN Secretary General’s High Level
Panel on Digital Cooperation, as advisor of panel member and former
Swiss President, Ms. Doris Leuthard, since 2018.
In 2017, he acted as co-chair of the UN Internet Governance Forum (IGF)’s Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG), as representative of the host country of the IGF 2017 held in Geneva in December 2017. He has been the regional coordina-tor for the WEOG governments in the MAG since 2006.
He has represented Switzerland in ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) since 2009 and was a vice-chair of the GAC (2013- 2014) and was elected as the chair of the GAC and GAC liaison to the ICANN board in October 2014 and reelected in October 2016.
He was one of the initiators of the European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG - the European IGF) and is acting as president of the EuroDIG Support Association, since 2012. He is also one of the initiators of the Swiss IGF which had its first meeting in Bern in May 2015.
He is a member of the Content & Jurisdiction Contact Group of the Internet & Jurisdiction Project, since 2017.
He is an initiator of the Geneva Internet Platform (GIP), an initiative of the Swiss government to facilitate capacity building and access to information on Internet governance issues and processes, and member of its Steering Committee, since 2014.
He has been a head of the Swiss delegation at the main conferences and meetings of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), UNESCO’s Commission V and the OECD’s Committee on Digital Economy Policy (CDEP) since 2017. He has represented Switzerland in the ITU Council Working Group on WSIS (since 2005) and co-chaired the ITU Council Working Group on Stakeholder Participation in ITU's activities related to WSIS (2006-2010).
In December 2017, he was elected as the chair of the Council of Europe's Steering Committee on Media and the Information Society (CDMSI). Before that, he had been a CDMSI bureau member since 2011 and vice-chair in 2014. He was a member of the Council of Europe (CoE) expert groups on Internet intermediaries (2016-2017), on cross-border flow of Internet traffic and Internet freedom (2014-2015). He was vice-chair of the CoE’s expert group on rights of internet users (2012-2013) and chair of the CoE's expert groups on new media (2009-2011) and on human rights in the information society (2006-2009).
From 2003-2005, he was the coordinator of all Swiss activities in both phases of WSIS (Geneva 2003 and Tunis 2005) on behalf of the Swiss State Secretary responsible for both WSIS phases including the Swiss hosting of the first phase of WSIS in Geneva. He represented Switzerland in the Bureau of the WSIS for the second phase of WSIS (Tunis 2005).
Thomas Schneider was born in St. Gallen in 1972 and has been living in Zürich since 1992. He studied history, national economics and English literature in Zürich and Berlin. He likes alternative rock music and French vintage cars with hydraulic suspension.