BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Gebert Rüf Stiftung is governed by a board of trustees whose members come from a range of disciplines. Contributing a wealth of scientific and business experience, they possess an insight that crosses the boundaries of disciplines, faculties, universities, institutions and regions and is informed by the potential of Gebert Rüf Stiftung to lend momentum to «Switzerland as a top location for business and as a place to live» (purpose article).

BOARD MEMBERS

Prof. Dr. Roland Siegwart, Chairman

Prof. Dr. Roland Siegwart, Chairman

Promoting talents and pioneers
A prospering economy needs solid and sustainable investments in education and research, and above all pioneers with the entrepreneurial spirit and passion to translate new discoveries and visions into successful technologies and products.

As chairman of the board, Roland Siegwart bears responsibility for the strategic direction of Gebert Rüf Stiftung. He works to ensure that young talents and pioneers can be effectively and sustainably supported during the crucial start-up phase of innovation. Member and deputy chairman since 2012, he presides the board of trustees since 2018.

Background
Professor of Micro Robotics at EPFL Lausanne (1996–2006), Professor of Robotics at ETH Zurich (since 2006), Vice President of Research and Corporate Relations at ETH Zurich (2010–2014), Co-Director of Wyss Zurich since 2015, co-founder of several spin-off firms and member of several boards of directors and boards of trustees.

Prof. Dr. Monika Bütler, Deputy Chairman

Prof. Dr. Monika Bütler, Deputy Chairman

Freedom to innovate
If Switzerland does not want to rest on its laurels, it needs fresh ideas in order to reinvent itself for the future. Research and education are the driving forces behind innovation, thus ultimately helping to future-proof Swiss society.

Monika Bütler sees herself as an initiator and is convinced that the funding provided by Gebert Rüf Stiftung will have the greatest effect when it provides young researchers with the freedom they need to put new and potentially risky project ideas into practice. She joined the board of trustees in 2017 and has been vice-president since 2018.

Background
Professor of Macroeconomics at the University of Lausanne (2001–2004), member of the Swiss Commission for Economic Issues (2000–2004), advisor to the World Bank in Washington (2004–2006), Professor of Macroeconomics at the University of St. Gallen since 2004, guest professor at the universities of Auckland and New South Wales between 2008 and 2014, member of the Bank Council at the Swiss National Bank (since 2010), Director of the Swiss Institute for Empirical Economic Research at the University of St. Gallen since 2015.

Prof. Dr. Richard Bührer, Member of the Board of Trustees

Prof. Dr. Richard Bührer, Member of the Board of Trustees

Bundling competencies
Tertiary institutions of education are called upon to make innovative and sustainable contributions towards enhancing Switzerland as a top location for business and as a place to live. Disciplinary and cross-disciplinary competencies alike are essential requirements for this. He has been a member of the board of trustees since 2011.

In keeping with the foundation purpose of Gebert Rüf Stiftung, Richard Bührer thus bases his foundation activities on the principles of scientifically solid and networked research work.

Background
Director of Fachhochschule beider Basel from 2000–2004, overall project manager at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) from 2004–2005, President of the Board of Directors at FHNW (2006–2010), Vice President of the KFH Rectors' Conference (now swissuniversities) until 2010, member of the Foundation Council at the Swiss National Science Foundation (until end of 2010), member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences (SATW).

Prof. Dr. Elgar Fleisch, Member of the Board of Trustees

Prof. Dr. Elgar Fleisch, Member of the Board of Trustees

Shaping digitization
The combination of physics and computer science holds great potential for innovation in Switzerland as a business location. If we succeed in combining the existing strengths of the manufacturing industry with the Internet and machine learning, then we will play a leading role in shaping the next wave of digitization.

In his foundation's work, Elgar Fleisch is committed to ensuring that digitization does not remain an empty phrase, but that it is used by transdisciplinary research and development projects to create new products that open up new markets. He has been a member of the board of trustees since 2018.

Background
Studied business informatics at the University of Vienna, PhD (1993) in the field of artificial intelligence, professor for technology management at the University of St. Gallen (HSG, since 2002) and since 2004 also professor for information management at ETH Zurich, co-founder of various spin-off companies, member of several administrative, supervisory and foundation boards.

Dr. phil. Katja Gentinetta, Member of the Board of Trustees

Dr. phil. Katja Gentinetta, Member of the Board of Trustees

Opening horizons
If Switzerland is to flourish as a top location for business and as a place to live, the country needs universities that offer an environment for innovation and entrepreneurship. But what is needed above all are people with ideas who are not afraid of the risks entailed in realizing them.

Under the auspices of Gebert Rüf Stiftung, Katja Gentinetta attaches importance to cooperation between the various disciplines. Where the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities work together, better answers can be expected to the questions of today and tomorrow. She has been a member of the board of trustees since 2013.

Background
Deputy Director of the Avenir Suisse think tank (2006–2011), host of talk show «Sternstunde Philosophie» on Swiss television (2011–2014), lecturer in Public Affairs at the University of St. Gallen, freelance political philosopher and businesswoman since 2011, author of several books on socio-political subjects, host of topical television show «NZZ Standpunkte» since 2016.

Prof. Dr. Jean-Marc Piveteau, Member of the Board of Trustees

Prof. Dr. Jean-Marc Piveteau, Member of the Board of Trustees

Combining research and practice fruitfullyThe universities in Switzerland have research and development opportunities that make them strong partners for companies and practical organisations and their innovative strength.

Jean-Marc Piveteau has been a member of the board of trustees since 2018 and, in line with the purpose of the foundation, is committed to promoting practical and application-related projects that succeed in establishing bridge partnerships between research and practice.

Background
Studies of physics and mathematics (1979-1984) and doctorate (1987) at ETH Zurich, then research and teaching at ETH Zurich, from 1993 research engineer at Ascom Tech AG, later project manager in the research laboratory of UBS AG, from 1999 director and responsible for the section «E- Commerce and Solutions», from 2001 to 2011 first lecturer, then head of the institute and finally prorector teaching of the University of Applied Sciences Rapperswil HRS, since 2011 rector of ZHAW.

Prof. Dr. med. Jürg Schifferli, Member of the Board of Trustees

Prof. Dr. med. Jürg Schifferli, Member of the Board of Trustees

Utilize the potential of life sciences
In recent decades, Switzerland's life sciences sector has undergone some successful development phases. With its practically oriented funding strategy, Gebert Rüf Stiftung is helping to fully utilize the potential of newfound strengths in Switzerland.

As an expert in Life Sciences, Jürg Schifferli sees his task as a member of the board of trustees as helping to implement the specific grant-making objectives in this key area of research, development and applied science. He has been a member of the board of trustees since 2007.

Background
Professor of Internal Medicine and Head Physician at the Clinic for Internal Medicine at Basel University Hospital (1993–2014), President of the Ethics Commission of the Regional Department for Internal Medicine Basel (1994–2000), member of the National Research Council of the SNSF (2000–2009), Dean of Research in 2010 and then until his retirement from office in 2014 Vice Dean of Research at the University of Basel Faculty of Medicine, member of the board of trustees of the Louis-Jeantet Foundation.

Prof. Dr. med. Marcel Tanner, Member of the Board of Trustees

Prof. Dr. med. Marcel Tanner, Member of the Board of Trustees

Transdisciplinary approach to solving problems
As the complexity of socio-cultural and socio-economic problems increases, transdisciplinary approaches are needed to resolve them. As an expert on the interface between health and society, Marcel Tanner has experience of such approaches. He believes it is extremely important to enable wide-reaching cooperative collaboration between the public and private sectors in order to develop practical solutions.

Thus, in the eyes of Marcel Tanner, Gebert Rüf Stiftung will be fulfilling its mission if its support enables socially relevant challenges to be tackled in a multi-disciplinary manner. He has been a member of the board of trustees since 2016.

Background
Professor of Epidemiology and Medical Parasitology at the University of Basel since 1993, Director of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (1997–2015), Dean of the Philosophy of Science Faculty at the University of Basel (2002–2004), advisor to various national and international health organizations, President of the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT) since 2016.

FORMER BOARD MEMBERS

Prof. Dr. Rudolf Marty, Chairman of the Board of Trustees 2005–2017

Prof. Dr. Rudolf Marty, Chairman of the Board of Trustees 2005–2017

Strategic management
As chairman of the board, Rudolf Marty bore responsibility for the strategic direction of Gebert Rüf Stiftung from 2005 until 2017. He has been both a member and the chairman of the board of trustees since 2005.

In his work for the foundation, Rudolf Marty did not consider himself a representative of one university or region nor as defending the interests of a particular discipline. Rather, he pursued the mission of Gebert Rüf Stiftung, not to finance basic research as a sort of miniature National Science Foundation, but to implement science with a focus on effectiveness and practical application through a grant-making strategy based on defined focal points.

Background
Professor of Information Technology at the University of Zurich (1982–1989), then Head of the UBS IT research laboratory UBILAB, Director of the UBS central department for applications development, Managing Partner at itopia – corporate information technology until 2006, owner of Opexis GmbH until 2017.

† Dr. sc. techn. ETH Theodor Fässler, Founding Chairman of the Board of Trustees 1998–2004

† Dr. sc. techn. ETH Theodor Fässler, Founding Chairman of the Board of Trustees 1998–2004

First chairman of the board of trustees
On 1 January 1998, Theodor Fässler took over the task of working with the board of trustees on the basis of the existing foundation charter to expand Gebert Rüf Stiftung into an institution with a sustainable impact. The following guiding principles applied: highly competent and efficient executive functions; administration and infrastructure based on the latest findings; policy and strategy designed to close gaps in existing research support; leverage effect in the use of resources; openness and transparency in the foundation's structure; cooperation with existing grant-making institutions. Asset management was also institutionalized on a professional basis.

On reaching the upper age limit set by the foundation charter, after seven years of expansion work and grant-making activities, Theodor Fässler handed over the chair of Gebert Rüf Stiftung to Rudolf Marty as of 1 January 2005.

Background
Theodor Fässler studied mechanical engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, leading to a degree in management science und manufacturing technology. After a period of practical work outside Switzerland (including a spell working for General Electric in the US), he became chief assistant to the professor of management science at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. After obtaining a doctorate in technical sciences, he spent 36 years working in various functions, during which time he made a key contribution toward transforming Mikron from a family business into a globally active group. On reaching retirement age in 1997, he stepped down after 19 years of management responsibility as chairman and CEO.

Prof. Dr. iur. Peter Forstmoser, Deputy Chairman and Founding Member 1998–2016

Prof. Dr. iur. Peter Forstmoser, Deputy Chairman and Founding Member 1998–2016

Founding member
Peter Forstmoser was intensively involved in the preparations for the founding and development of Gebert Rüf Stiftung. He served as deputy chairman of the board of trustees since the foundation was established in December 1997. Thus he played a major role in defining the face of the Foundation from its very beginning.

In his work for the foundation, Peter Forstmoser considered himself a representative of the legal and social sciences with an interest in interdisciplinary projects. He also sought to apply his experience as both a scholar and a practitioner. He regarded the foundation purpose, that is «to strengthen Switzerland as a top location for business and as a place to live», to be the measure of the most promising projects for support.

Background
Studied law at the University of Zurich, then became a partner at Niederer, Kraft & Frey; former chairman of the board of directors of SwissRe.

Prof. Dr. Carl August Zehnder, Founding Member of the Board of Trustees 1998–2011

Prof. Dr. Carl August Zehnder, Founding Member of the Board of Trustees 1998–2011

Extensive network
Carl August Zehnder was a member of the board of trustees of Gebert Rüf Stiftung from the establishment of the foundation until the end of 2011. In his work for the foundation, he was responsible in particular for its activities in technical and engineering fields and for projects involving universities of applied sciences.

Background
Studied at ETH Zurich, gained doctorate in 1965 on computer calculation of timetables and transport schedules, then worked in industry. Research year in the US at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from 1966 to 1967. Became assistant professor of computer science in 1970 and full professor in 1979.

Prof. Dr. med. Philipp U. Heitz, Founding Member of the Board of Trustees 1998–2006

Prof. Dr. med. Philipp U. Heitz, Founding Member of the Board of Trustees 1998–2006

Representative of the world of medicine
Philipp U. Heitz served as a member of the board of trustees from the establishment of Gebert Rüf Stiftung until the end of 2006. In his work for the foundation, he was primarily responsible for activities in the fields of biology and medicine.

Background
Studied medicine at the University of Geneva with further training in Freiburg, Basel and London. Postdoctoral qualification in Basel in 1974; appointed associate professor of pathology at the University of Basel in 1981 and full professor in 1982. Since 1987 full professor of pathology and head of the pathology department at the University of Zurich. Emeritus since 2004.

Prof. Dr. sc. phil. II Verena Meyer, Founding Member of the Board of Trustees 1998–2005

Prof. Dr. sc. phil. II Verena Meyer, Founding Member of the Board of Trustees 1998–2005

Sciences interlinked
Verena Meyer was a member of the board of trustees of Gebert Rüf Stiftung from the establishment of the foundation until the end of 2005. She was responsible for the area of the natural sciences. However, her work was also shaped by her extensive experience of Swiss university and science policy. She took a particular interest in projects that bring different disciplines, different universities or different regions closer together.

Prominent figure in the world of science
Her activities outside the university included membership in the Research Council of the Swiss National Science Foundation. She later went on to chair Department IV, «National Research Programmes», before subsequently becoming a member of the Swiss Science Council, which she chaired until 2000. Her active involvement in work outside the university saw her serve on various federal government committees and in numerous foundations.

Background
After studying experimental physics at the University of Zurich and spending two years as a postdoctoral researcher in the US, Verena Meyer returned to the University of Zurich, where she obtained her postdoctoral qualification in the field of experimental nuclear physics. Associate professor from 1963, full professor from 1968, dean from 1976 to 1978 and rector from 1982 to 1984. Emerita from 1994.

† Prof. Dr. Hans Heinrich Schmid, Founding Member of the Board of Trustees 1998–2005

† Prof. Dr. Hans Heinrich Schmid, Founding Member of the Board of Trustees 1998–2005

Taking the long view
As a founding member, Hans Heinrich Schmid played a leading role in building up Gebert Rüf Stiftung. He took a particular interest in the longer-term impact of projects. The board of trustees could count on his experience as President of the University of Zurich as well his feel for hermeneutic subtleties cultivated during his tenure as Professor of Old Testament Studies.

Background
Studied theology at the Universities of Zurich and Göttingen, post-doctoral lecturing qualification in 1966/67, appointed Full Professor of Old Testament Studies in 1969, and from 1972 Director of the Bethel Theological Seminary. Appointed Full Professor of Old Testament Studies and the General History of Religion at the University of Zurich in 1976. From 1988 to 2000, President of the University of Zurich, which was granted autonomy from the cantonal administration in 1998.

† Prof. Dr. Heinrich Rohrer, Founding Member of the Board of Trustees 1998–2002

† Prof. Dr. Heinrich Rohrer, Founding Member of the Board of Trustees 1998–2002

The voice of natural science
As the «father of nanotechnology» and a Nobel Prize laureate in physics, Heinrich Rohrer was the voice of natural science on the board of trustees. He championed projects which relied on solid scientific findings to develop an entrepreneurial application for the newly gained know-how that extended well beyond fundamental research.

Background
In 1951 he commenced his physics studies at ETH Zurich under Wolfgang Pauli and Paul Scherrer, in 1955 he began a dissertation on the pressure and volume effects of superconductivity under Prof. Peter Grassmann, and in 1963 he joined the IBM Research Laboratory at Rüschlikon, where he and Gerd Binnig worked together until 1981 on the development of the scanning tunnelling microscope.

Prof. Dr. Piero Martinoli, Member of the Board of Trustees 2003–2006

Prof. Dr. Piero Martinoli, Member of the Board of Trustees 2003–2006

For transformative research
In keeping with the foundation's purpose, Piero Martinoli's interest was directed primarily at research projects of a transformative nature, creating something new of enduring practical impact. Moving among different scientific communities, he was well placed on the board of trustees to ceaselessly build bridges between the different disciplines.

Background
After earning a degree in physics at ETH Zurich he stayed on to undertake post-graduate study, followed by a period working in the United States. In 1978 he was appointed Full Professor of Physics at the University of Neuchâtel, also giving numerous lecture courses and organizing a large number of research cycles at the Universities of Geneva and Lausanne as well as the IBM Research Laboratory at Rüschlikon.

Prof. Dr. Susan Gasser, Member of the Board of Trustees 2006–2016

Prof. Dr. Susan Gasser, Member of the Board of Trustees 2006–2016

In the service of biomedicine
Susan Gasser sat on the Gebert Rüf Stiftung board of trustees for ten years. In addition to her many other obligations, she also devoted her time on the board of trustees in particular to life sciences projects, drawing on her broad know-how and experience as Director of the Friedrich Miescher Institute.

Background
Studied biology at the University of Chicago, in 1982 obtained her PhD at the University of Basel Biozentrum, followed by a post-doctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Prof. Ulrich K. Laemmli at the University of Geneva. In 1986 she was engaged as research group head at the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) in Lausanne, in 2001 appointed full professor in the Department of Molecular Biology at the University of Geneva, since 2004 Director of the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research in Basel.

† Prof. Dr. Marie Theres Fögen, Member of the Board of Trustees 2006–2007

† Prof. Dr. Marie Theres Fögen, Member of the Board of Trustees 2006–2007

Potential of the humanities and social sciences
As a member of the board of trustees, Marie Theres Fögen's special area of responsibility was the foundation's activities in the humanities and social sciences. When she retired due to ill health at the end of 2007, before subsequently passing away on 18 January 2008, Gebert Rüf Stiftung lost a member of the board of trustees who had been an outspoken advocate of the deployment of support funds to provide start-up assistance for innovative projects.

Background
Studied law at the Universities of Munich and Frankfurt, then qualified as a lawyer while also undertaking academic work. From 1980 to 1995 was a research associate at the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History in Frankfurt; obtained postdoctoral qualification in 1993, was then appointed Professor of Roman Law, Civil Law and Comparative Law at the University of Zurich; from 2001 Director of the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History in Frankfurt.

Prof. Dr. René Dändliker, Member of the Board of Trustees 2007–2012

Prof. Dr. René Dändliker, Member of the Board of Trustees 2007–2012

Authority on science policy-making institutions
As long-standing President of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences, René Dändliker was extremely familiar with Switzerland's ERI system. The Gebert Rüf Stiftung board of trustees benefited immensely from his extensive professional experience in industry and academia.

Background
Studied physics at ETH Zurich, in 1968 he earned a PhD at the University of Bern, subsequently appointed Professor of Applied Optics at the University of Neuchâtel and the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL).

† Christiane Langenberger, Member of the Board of Trustees 2008–2012

† Christiane Langenberger, Member of the Board of Trustees 2008–2012

Promoting Switzerland as a top location for business
In the context of her foundation activities Christiane Langenberger saw herself as a representative of those members of the political community who champion innovation in Switzerland and want to help ensure that future-looking research at universities receives the necessary financial resources. Creative research projects are essential if our economy is to have room to manoeuvre and remain competitive.

Background
Local councillor in Romanel-sur-Morges in 1987, from 1994 to 1995 municipal president, from 1995 to 1999 member of the National Council, from 1999 member of the Council of States for two terms of office, 2003 to 2004 president of the FDP.

FORMER MEMBERS OF THE EXECUTIVE TEAM

Dr. phil. I Philipp Egger, Founding Director, CEO from 1998–2016

Dr. phil. I Philipp Egger, Founding Director, CEO from 1998–2016

First foundation director
As the first CEO of Gebert Rüf Stiftung, Philipp Egger was instrumental in its rapid and successful positioning. He drove the development of the foundation with a forward-looking understanding of philanthropy guided by transparency, impact and foundation governance. After just a few years, Gebert Rüf Stiftung had won a reputation beyond Switzerland's borders as an exemplary, visible and highly effective grant-making foundation.

Engaging in targeted collaboration with universities and institutions, he enabled a large number of public private partnerships. For instance, as a member of the strategic Swissnex Committee, he was involved in the development and expansion of a Swiss ERI presence in the US and Asia from the very outset.

Promoter of Switzerland as a location for foundations
As co-initiator (1999) and long-serving member of the board of trustees (until 2015) of SwissFoundations, the association of Swiss grant-making foundations, he was committed to robustly pushing ahead the development of Switzerland as a liberal location for foundations at the level of norms, strategy and operations, for instance as editor of the «Foundation Governance» book series (Helbling Lichtenhahn Verlag), as initiator and co-author of the Swiss Foundation Code and co-founder of Fondation des Fondateurs, now Switzerland's largest umbrella foundation independent of financial service providers. His work towards the renewal of the foundation sector also took him into the international arena, namely to the US and Europe.

Stepping down but not away
Philipp Egger resigned as director at the end of 2016 at his own request. The handover of strategic and operational management to the next generation had long been prepared. The subsequent phase of his professional career will be devoted to the role of Gebert Rüf Stiftung delegate for the Eastern Europe activities laid down in the foundation charter.