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NEW YORK, NEW YORK, AMERICA, February 24, 2023 / -- The American Swiss Foundation today announced that Patricia Schramm, the Foundation’s president has decided to step down as of February 23, 2023 to pursue new opportunities. Ms. Schramm became president in 2003, succeeding Ambassador Faith Whittlesey.

“We thank Patricia for her dedicated service to the American Swiss Foundation for twenty years,” said Robert J. Giuffra, Jr., chair of the Foundation. “Starting with her work with Ambassador Whittlesey, Patricia has helped to build the Foundation into the leading organization connecting and engaging the leaders of the United States and Switzerland and promoting the historic friendship between the two countries. We wish her the very best in her future endeavors.”

The American Swiss Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Vanessa Beary as executive director. Dr. Beary, who participated in the 2016 Young Leaders Conference hosted by Syngenta in Basel, began working for the Foundation in 2018.

As executive director, Dr. Beary will work together with the Foundation’s Co-Chairs, Robert J. Giuffra, Jr. and Markus U. Diethelm, and the Foundation’s Board of Directors. “We are delighted that Vanessa will be serving as our executive director,” said Mr. Giuffra. “She is deeply committed to the Foundation’s goal of strengthening the longstanding friendship between the United States and Switzerland.”

“Vanessa’s expertise in building communities and her commitment to the values at the heart of the American Swiss Foundation will be invaluable to the organization as we scale our impact in both the United States and Switzerland,” said Abby Spencer Moffat, a member of the Foundation’s U.S. Advisory Board and granddaughter of former U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland Shelby Cullom Davis. “Her creativity, drive, and cultural empathy will enable us to reach new heights.”

Dr. Beary's background is in international education, development, and diplomacy. Prior to joining the Foundation, she served as a Senior Advisor for Youth Entrepreneurship in the Office of Commercial and Business Affairs at the U.S. Department of State and as an Adjunct Professor at American University’s Kogod School of Business. She began her career working for the U.S. Department of Defense and received the Outstanding Civilian Service Award, the third highest public honor that the Army can grant to a civilian, for her work in Iraq.

Dr. Beary holds an Ed.D. from Harvard University, an M.Phil. from the University of Cambridge, and a B.A. with honors from Brown University. She currently serves on the Board of the Harvard Alumni Association.

About the American Swiss Foundation

Founded in 1945 in response to World War II, the Foundation’s mission is to connect and engage Swiss and American leaders. Towards the end of the 20th century, two former U.S. Ambassadors to Switzerland, Shelby Cullom Davis and Faith Whittlesey, ushered in a new era for the small organization. They ultimately transformed the Foundation from an organization that was primarily social to one that focused on nurturing and investing in the next generation of leaders in both countries.

In 1975, Ambassador Davis assumed an active leadership role with the Foundation. He served as chairman and president until 1989, and as honorary chairman until his passing in 1994. In 1989, Ambassador Whittlesey became chairman and president of the Foundation and launched the organization’s flagship program, the Young Leaders Conference.

Today, alumni of the conference number more than 1,400 leaders who shape the futures of the two countries, including members of U.S. Congress and Swiss parliamentarians, entrepreneurs and business executives, media professionals, and public policy experts. The American Swiss Foundation’s mission is to connect and engage Swiss and American leaders through inspirational programs to strengthen the shared values of liberty, the rule of law, and free enterprise.

Robert J. Giuffra
American Swiss Foundation
+1 212-558-3121
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