Ambassador, Head of the South Cooperation Department
Ambassador Thomas Gass was appointed by the Swiss Federal Council as Vice-Director and Head of the South Cooperation Department of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), to take office on 1 January 2018.
He brings with him wide-ranging experience in bilateral and multilateral development cooperation, as well as in natural sciences applied to development. From 2013-2017, he served as Assistant Secretary General at the Department for Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat in New York. Prior to his position at the United Nations, he served from 2009 to 2013 as Head of the Mission of Switzerland to Nepal. There he established the Embassy, oversaw the delivery of the development programme and chaired the Donors Group of the Nepal Peace Trust Fund - the main instrument for international support to Nepal’s peace process.
Before his posting to Nepal, from 2004 to 2009, Mr. Gass was Head of the Economic and Development Section at the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN in New York, where he represented Switzerland’s interests in the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), its subsidiary Commissions, the General Assembly and the Executive Boards of the major UN Funds and Programmes. During this time, Mr Gass was also the Chair of the Donor Group of the UN Global Compact.
Mr. Gass has also served as Deputy Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Guyana (2002-2004), as Policy Advisor and Programme Officer for the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (1998-2002), and as Regional Director for Europe with the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute in Rome (1996-1998).
Born in 1963, Thomas Gass holds a PhD in natural sciences from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and a MSc and engineering diploma in agricultural sciences from the same Institute. He is married and father of three adult children.