The award program was launched in 2017 and recognizes the outstanding achievements of personalities as well as their merits for the Greater Zurich Area in Switzerland. “Greater Zurich Honorary Ambassadors are top influencers in their respective industries. All of them have a high impact on the positive perception of our region,” explained Sonja Wollkopf Walt before appointing fifteen new Greater Zurich Honorary Ambassadors for the year 2020 and 2021 in a virtual celebratory event.
The Greater Zurich Honorary Ambassadors of 2020 and 2021 are:
- Joshua Aceves, Xylem, Tax Director
- Fred Adam, Wilmer Hale, Tax Partner
- Sahel Assar, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, International Tax Counsel
- Chris Bergstresser, Board Member and CSO at Flexion Mobile.
- Stefan Birrer, Phenix RTS, CTO
- Fred Dorey, Cooley LLP, Special Counsel
- Urs Hartmann, Integra Biosciences, CEO
- Jonathan Isenring, HackZurich & Digital Festival, Founder
- Thomas Lackner, Apellis, SVP, General Manager International
- Johannes Läderach, CEO Läderach
- Sophie Lamparter, Dart Labs, CEO
- Joy Loh, Align Technology, Vice President of Tax and Treasury
- Alison Maxwell, DLA Piper, Deputy Managing Partner, Seattle Office
- Andreas Voll, COO IWC
- Tony Wyss Coray, Stanford University & Akahest, Professor Neurology/Neurological Sciences & Founder
Ivo Germann, Minister, Head of Economic, Trade and Financial Affairs at the Embassy of Switzerland in the United States of America and Suzi LeVine, former United States Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, gave addresses at the virtual event, highlighting the significance of Swiss-US economic relations and what it means to be an ambassador and work in the diplomatic environment.
After the ceremony, Thomas Lackner, SVP International / Head of Europe at Apellis, commented, “in life sciences, we rely on finding the best and highest qualified talents. The Greater Zurich Area is a unique place where highly qualified experts and a vibrant biotech culture come together.”
Chris Bergstresser, another newly appointed Honorary Ambassador, is an example of a successful Foreign Direct Investment into Switzerland himself. Having moved from the US to Switzerland with Mini Clip, a leading online game site, he is an excellent testimonial on how Switzerland can be a growth catalyst. Chris commented: "Switzerland is a technical leader with extensive experience in gaming technology and one of the finest talent pools globally. I look forward to representing the Greater Zurich Area as an Honorary Ambassador to ensure that the entrepreneurial and innovative nature of the area thrives.”