Organisation of the FDFA

The FDFA, headed by Ignazio Cassis, determines and coordinates Swiss foreign policy on behalf of the Federal Council. The FDFA consists of the organisational units at head office in Bern and the network of Swiss representations, which includes embassies, consulates, cooperation offices and missions.

Map of Bern with marked locations of the FDFA's head office buildings.
Map of Bern with marked locations of the FDFA's head office buildings (see key). © FDFA

The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) determines and coordinates Swiss foreign policy on behalf of the Federal Council, pursues the set foreign policy objectives, safeguards Switzerland’s national interests and promotes Swiss values. Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis took office as head of the FDFA on 1 November 2017.

The FDFA has some 170 representations around the world. The representations abroad include embassies, consulates, cooperation offices and permanent missions to international organisations.

The FDFA head office in Bern is home to the General Secretariat, State Secretariat, six directorates and a number of autonomous divisions. The directorates perform their work through organisational units based at head office in Bern and through the external network of representations.

Head of Department Ignazio Cassis

Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis is head of the FDFA

Aims and values of the FDFA

Safeguard Swiss interests, values and objectives, implement the foreign policy strategy of the Federal Council

General Secretariat

The General Secretariat coordinates business for Parliament and the Federal Council and is responsible for the FDFA's communication and information.

State Secretariat

The responsibilities of the State Secretariat include the maintenance, coordination and ongoing development of Switzerland's bilateral relations with other states, cooperation with organisations such as the UN, and Swiss policy on security, peace and disarmament.

Directorates and Divisions

6,000 employees at head office and around the world