Welcome message

Consul General Benedikt Wechsler
Consul General Benedikt Wechsler ©EDA

Guten Tag, Bonjour, Buon giorno, Bun di, Grüezi,
Dear fellow Swiss citizens in California and Friends of Switzerland,

Just a few days ago, I settled in with my wife Frida in the wonderful City of San Francisco as the new Consul General of Switzerland not only for the Silicon Valley but for the entire California and other U.S. States ranging from the Northwestern US all the way to Alaska and Hawaii.

It is needless to say that this is a unique privilege to serve my countries and to represent the interests of you all, dear Swiss citizens and Friends of Switzerland, in this extremely dynamic, mind-blowingly beautiful part of the United States full of wonderful people coming from all over the world to realize their dreams and to contribute to a better world. It is my firm intention to travel as much as possible in order to build up partnerships and friendships, which are adding value not only for the US, the different States or municipalities you live in, but also for our own beautiful country: I will always look for the triple-win!

“Keine Zukunft ohne Herkunft”, goes the saying in Switzerland, which can be translated as “no future without a past”. Today, when we talk about a global migration crisis, we should also be aware that a substantial part of the Swiss immigrants to the US would not have passed the borders under current circumstances. Think of General Sutter who came here with a prison charge back home to start a new life, think of the over more than 30,000 countrymen from Ticino who fled poverty to look for a better life in California. Today, we take pride in many Swiss who have leading management positions in the Silicon Valley, work for NASA passionately in search of life on Mars, or add value to the US economy, the society, and the arts in various ways. Let’s not forget that Switzerland is the number one foreign investor in the US for Research & Development. We may be a small country, but when it comes to research and innovation, we are a small big power, and we can be proud of that.

And you can be proud of yourselves too. You are all individually contributing in one way or another to how Switzerland is perceived in the United States. You are like me, Ambassadors for our country and our values. I look forward to getting to know you at future occasions, be it here in San Francisco, the Bay Area, or in the respective States and cities you live in. My team at the Consulate General, swissnex San Francisco, Swiss Business Hub, and Switzerland Tourism will be more than happy to welcome you at Pier 17. Come and meet with us and enjoy the view at Pier 17. Make sure to follow our public programs at our common public event space. There is something for every interest.

Last but not least, my wife Frida and I wish you all a wonderful holiday season, many unforgettable moments with your family, friends, and loved ones. Stay healthy and happy

Benedikt Wechsler
Consul General