Ralph Friedländer - World Jewish Congress

Ralph Friedländer

WJC Vice-President (Switzerland)
President, Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities

Ralph Friedländer has been President of the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities SIG since June 2024. He previously served as Vice-President of the federation from October 2020. Prior to that, he was also President of the Jüdische Gemeinde Bern JGB and a member of the SIG’s Central Committee. The SIG is the umbrella association of 18 Jewish communities in Switzerland. In his role as President, Friedländer is one of the most important voices of Switzerland’s Jewish community. Together with his colleagues on the SIG’s Board of Directors, he is responsible for representing Jewish interests in Switzerland in the political, social and media domains.

Ralph Friedländer, born in 1959 in Maputo, Mozambique, and raised in Geneva and Lugano, has a Master’s degree in Psychology from the University of Zurich and has had an over 30-year career working in various institutions within the Swiss Confederation.

Among other activities, he chaired the Swiss delegation that worked with the EU to negotiate the terms for Switzerland’s participation in the student exchange program ERASMUS, and was part of the Swiss delegation for various bilateral negotiations and agreements on topics such as the free movement of persons. Subsequently, Friedländer worked in the field of economic development and cooperation at the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO and at the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA’s Agency for Development and Cooperation. He has overseen programmes and projects related to the Western Balkans, as well as the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia after they joined the EU, and the African Development Bank. He headed up the office of the Advisory Commission for International Cooperation from January 2020 until his retirement at the end of May 2024. This extra-parliamentary commission of the Swiss Federal Council develops analyses and recommendations in the field of international cooperation, especially development cooperation, humanitarian aid and the advancement of human rights.

Ralph Friedländer lives with his wife in Muri bei Bern.