Highlights of 2017: a Year in Review
The Inauguration of President Donald J. Trump
Ambassador Martin Dahinden reflecting on his experience at the Inauguration ceremony: “Standing with my ambassador colleagues at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., behind the place where the inauguration ceremony was held. It was a solemn moment with all the former Presidents and First Ladies present, with the members of the U.S. Congress and the Supreme Court. Unfortunately the weather was not always nice. Together with the parade and the gala, the inauguration took the whole day, but time passed very quickly.”
Introducing the #SwissTouch Campaign
Have you heard about the Swiss Touch campaign? It’s Heidi + High Tech! Swiss Touch is a traveling event series involving a Swiss-made table with digital features. It aims to leverage the traditional image of Switzerland and to reintroduce the country as an innovative as was forward-thinking partner in today’s ever-changing global community. Learn more about the campaign.
The first photo shows the setup of the very first Swiss Touch event about climate change at the foot of the world-famous Matterhorn in Zermatt on January 17 of this year. Watch the video about it.
What does a day in the life of an Ambassador look like? On May 15 – a sunny day at the Abraham Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall – Ambassador Martin Dahinden invited passersby to sit down at the Swiss Touch table and ask him any kind of question about Switzerland. The questions ranged from innovation to chocolate, as well as foreign policy and education. Watch the video and take a look at the photos!
Switzerland Is Among the Largest Investors in the U.S.
Did you know that Switzerland is now the 6th largest foreign direct investor in the United States of America? Switzerland’s cumulative direct investment amounts to $258 billion. Swiss companies and their affiliates create nearly half a million jobs in the United States. Learn more about Switzerland’s impact on the U.S. economy.
The photos show Ambassador Martin Dahinden with Representative Andy Barr (R–KY), Nancy McLernon (President and CEO, Organization for International Investment), Dennis F. Kerrigan (Executive Vice President, Zurich Financial Services), and Craig Osten (Vice President and Treasurer, U.S. Novartis Corporation) during the launch event of the publication Switzerland’s Economic Footprint in the United States in February 2017. The publication gives a clear and concise overview of Switzerland’s direct investment. In 2017, Ambassador Martin Dahinden traveled to Colorado, North Carolina, and South Carolina to discuss Switzerland’s direct investment in the U.S. with government officials.
Swiss Citizens Are Now Eligible to Enroll in the Global Entry Program
Ambassador Martin Dahinden was the first Swiss citizen to enroll in the Global Entry Program. Since February 2017, Swiss citizens have been eligible to participate in the Global Entry Program, which facilitates entry into the USA and allows travelers to pass through all security checks using the faster “TSA Pre” lines. Learn more.
Culinary Creations at the Embassy of Switzerland in the U.S.
Chef Joao Marcos Barboza, the chef of the Swiss Residence, always creates one-of-a-kind culinary experiences for guests at Embassy of Switzerland events. His recipes are inspired by Swiss chefs, and he integrates ingredients for which Switzerland is famous, such as chocolate. For Valentine’s Day, Chef Joao Marcos integrated chocolate into all of the courses–from the appetizer to the dessert. A Swiss dream come true!
Three New Recipe Booklets
Ambassador Martin Dahinden is a culinary connoisseur. He is the author of the book Schweizer Küchengeheimnisse: Gesichter und Geschichten hinter bekannten Gerichten (Swiss Culinary Secrets: The Faces and Stories behind Well-Known Dishes). The Embassy of Switzerland also published several booklets with stories and recipes inspired by notable Swiss chefs and personalities in the culinary arts translated into English and edited by Cheryl A. Fain, the Swiss Embassy’s translator. In 2017, in collaboration with academic associates, the Embassy published three recipe booklets, on cocktails, desserts and soups.
The Swiss-style Apprenticeship Model in the U.S.
“I am proud to see that Switzerland’s vocational education and training model has found such great interest in the United States.” – Martin Dahinden, Ambassador of Switzerland to the United States of America
This year, the Embassy of Switzerland again came together with government officials, the private sector, education and workforce specialists, and other stakeholders to foster exchanges and discussion regarding vocational education. A highlight were the July 17 and 18 meetings of Federal Councillor Schneider-Ammann and Ambassador Martin Dahinden with the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta, and Ivanka Trump, assistant to the president. Another highlight was the new Jobs Now report, which was launched by Accenture, the Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce, the Global Apprenticeship Network, and ETH Zürich/KOF Swiss Economic Institute to provide insights into how U.S. organizations could bridge the skills gap. The launch event for the report took place at the Embassy of Switzerland in Washington, D.C.
Ambassador Martin Dahinden Attends the Fourth of July Reception at the U.S. Department of State
Ambassador Martin Dahinden talking about his attendance at the reception: “It was a pleasure to be at the State Department for the Fourth of July family party and to meet Secretary Rex Tillerson and his wife. Not surprisingly the buffet and music were Texas style.”
The Soirée Suisse: Two Google Switzerland Executives Rewarded at the Embassy of Switzerland
The Soirée Suisse is the annual highlight of the Embassy of Switzerland’s social calendar. Embassy staff, guests, and Soirée Suisse sponsors can meet and mingle with the Swiss Embassy’s top contacts in government, business, science, culture, and defense. The 2017 theme of the Soirée Suisse was “Swiss Up Your Life.” Each year, Ambassador Martin Dahinden presents the Tell Award to prominent personalities who have been outstanding ambassadors for Switzerland and its innovative spirit.
This year, Google Switzerland’s Samuel Widmann, Director of Strategic Partnerships, and Stefan Pharies, Director of Engineering, received their awards for the Google Geo Team Zurich for their pioneering contributions to Google Maps applications. Find out why they think Switzerland is a great place for innovation.
Ignazio Cassis Is Elected New Federal Councillor
In September 2017, Ignazio Cassis was elected as the new federal councillor. He is the eighth person from the Italian-speaking Canton of Ticino to join the seven-member Federal Council. Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis assumed his position as head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs on November 1 of this year.
Members of the U.S. Congress Visit Switzerland
From Geneva to Lausanne, Bern and Zurich: In October, Ambassador Martin Dahinden went on a study tour to Switzerland with members of the U.S. Congress. The Congressional Delegation visit included a meeting with UN Geneva Director-General Michael Møller and with current President of the Swiss Confederation Doris Leuthard in Bern, among other meetings.
The photo shows Ambassador Martin Dahinden with Representatives Alan Lowenthal (D–CA), Rob Bishop (R–UT), Jason Lewis (R–MN), Donald Norcross (D–NJ), Susan Davis (D–CA), and Brett Guthrie (R–KY) during the meeting with Swiss State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation Mauro Dell’Ambrogio.
Ed McMullen Is Appointed New U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein
Political strategist Edward T. McMullen Jr. of South Carolina was confirmed by the Senate as U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein on November 2 of this year. Read more about him.
Ambassador Martin Dahinden and His Wife Chair the 2nd American Portrait Gala at the National Portrait Gallery
Have you heard about the National Portrait Gallery’s Diplomatic Cabinet? It is composed of twenty ambassadors in Washington, D.C., and uses portraiture to create a bridge of cultural exchanges between embassies and Portrait Gallery friends. The Diplomatic Cabinet is chaired by Ambassador Martin Dahinden and his wife Anita Dahinden.
On November 19, Ambassador Martin Dahinden and his wife Anita Dahinden co-chaired the second American Portrait Gala at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. The gala recognizes the accomplishments of notable contemporary Americans who have had a major influence on U.S. history, development, and culture, and whose portraits are displayed in the National Portrait Gallery collection.
James Bond Arrives at the Embassy of Switzerland
Did you know that most parts of the James Bond movie On her Majesty’s Secret Service were filmed in Switzerland? The filming of the famous, yet surreal-looking headquarters of Bond’s enemy Blofeld was done at Schilthorn – Piz Gloria, located in the Bernese Oberland and today a popular spot for skiers and Bond lovers alike.
On December 1, Ambassador Martin Dahinden hosted a discussion between former James Bond, George Lazenby (in the middle), Josh Greenbaum (second on the left), director of the recently released documentary Becoming Bond, and Christoph Egger, CEO of the Schilthornbahn AG (on the left), on the making of the sixth James Bond movie and George Lazenby’s life. The discussion was moderated by Elliott S. Berke (second on the right).
Find out about other Swiss connections in James Bond movies.