Board of Governors

Dr. Eva Herzog

Eva Herzog is the current President of the Swiss Council of States. She was a member of the legislative for the Social Democratic Party (SP) in the Canton of Basel-Stadt from 2001 to 2005, and a member of the Basel-Stadt government and head of the Department of Finance from 2005 to 2020. Since 2019, she has been a member of the Council of States in the Swiss Parliament.

Eva Herzog studied history, economics and Spanish at the University of Basel and the University of Santiago de Compostela. She became politicised in the “Fair Trade Shop movement” of the time. Following her dissertation, she worked as a scientific collaborator in the Vice-Rectorate for Research at the University of Basel and as a cultural manager.

Eva Herzog has been a member of the Board of Governors of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) for 2 years, before she took over the Presidency in January 2023.

Prof. Dr. Sabina De Geest

Sabina De Geest is the Director of the Institute of Nursing Science and a Professor of Nursing at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Basel. She is also part-time Professor of Nursing at the KU Leuven in Belgium and has adjunct appointments at Johns Hopkins University, University of Pittsburgh and New York University.

She leads the PIONEER international group, an interdisciplinary research group focusing on behavioural and psychosocial issues in chronically ill persons. Driven by implementation science methodology, her research portfolio focuses on the development of innovative care models, partially powered by eHealth.

In addition, her research addresses psychosocial and behavioural pathways and their relation to outcomes in chronic illness as well as the development and testing of instruments to assess patient reported outcomes. She is a co-founder of the Swiss Implementation science Network.

Dr. Ariane Bürgin

Ariane Bürgin is the Head of Higher Education at the Department of Education of the Canton of Basel-Stadt. Joining the Department of Education in 1997, she has many years of experience in cantonal administration and in the political management of cantonal and intercantonal negotiation processes in the higher education sector. Through her other professional activities and various teaching and expert activities in adult education, high schools and the university, she has a broad knowledge of education policy and cross-sectoral expertise.

Ariane Bürgin studied philosophy and history in Basel and Berlin and holds a PhD in philosophy from the University of Basel and a teaching diploma for high schools.

PD Dr. med. Cornelia Staehelin

Cornelia Staehelin is the current President of the Swiss Society for Tropical and Travel Medicine. She is a senior attending physician at the Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, and is responsible for tropical and travel medicine within the department of infectious diseases. She is a medical doctor with Swiss board specialisation in Internal Medicine, Infectious Diseases as well as Tropical & Travel Medicine and holds a Master of Advanced Studies in International Health.

On a national policy level, her focus is to reaccredit the current post-graduate curriculum for the specialisation in tropical & travel medicine and at the same time to restructure the curriculum for future candidates. Her teaching and training focus at the faculty of medicine and pharmacy at the University of Bern is on vaccinology as well as on tropical and travel medicine topics. Her research projects focus on sub-Sahara African migrants within the Swiss HIV Cohort Study, on vaccine-preventable diseases in migrants to Switzerland and on implementation research in the context of a rural West African setting (Guinea-Conakry).

Prof. Dr. med. François Chappuis

François Chappuis heads the Division of Tropical and Humanitarian Medicine of the Geneva University Hospitals (HUG), which focuses on the prevention and care of international travelers and on the implementation of operational and research projects in several African and Asian countries. He also heads the Department of Primary Care of the HUG since 2018.

François Chappuis is a medical doctor specialised in internal medicine and travel & tropical medicine. He holds a master in clinical tropical medicine from the University of Mahidol, Thailand, and a PhD in medical sciences from the University of Antwerp, Belgium.

He worked for Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) as a field doctor in East Africa and as a medical adviser for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) programmes in Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Kenya. His teaching and research activities mainly focus on NTDs, in particular sleeping sickness, Chagas disease, kala-azar and snakebite envenoming.

Dr. Lutz Hegemann

Lutz Hegemann is the President of the Global Health & Sustainability unit at Novartis International AG and is responsible for integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters into the core of the company’s business. The unit is focused on transforming health in low- and middle-income countries, with programmes targeting malaria, neglected tropical diseases, and non-communicable diseases. It also represents the company’s business in sub-Saharan Africa.

Prior to his current role, Lutz held roles of increasing responsibility since joining Novartis in 2005. He began his career as a public health physician and scientist.

Lutz is a Fellow of the Royal Society for Tropical Medicine & Hygiene and serves on the boards of various organisations focused on human health.

He has been a member of the Board of Governors of Swiss TPH since 1 January 2023.

Dr. Olivier Küttel

Olivier Küttel is the Head of International Affairs at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) since 2018. He studied physics and mathematics and obtained a PhD in plasma physics from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. After a postdoc in Montréal, Canada, he worked for many years in the field of nanotechnology and surface science at the University of Fribourg. He served as a patent expert for the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property and in 2000 became the first director of Euresearch, a private organisation mandated by the Swiss government to advise researchers from academia and the private sector on participating in European research and innovation projects. In 2012, he was appointed Head of European Public Affairs and Delegate to the President of EPFL.

Over the past 20 years, he has participated in various European projects and served on several expert groups and evaluation committees on behalf of the European Commission.

Dr. Rolf Borner

Rolf Borner has headed the Infrastructure & Operations Directorate in the Rectorate of the University of Basel since August 2021. The Directorate is responsible for ensuring the university's infrastructure and developing it in line with its needs.

He studied building engineering at the ETH Zurich, where he obtained his doctorate in 2004 in the field of building management. From 2005, he worked in the real estate division of the Finance Department of the Canton of Basel-Stadt, and since July 2015 he was Managing Director of Immobilien Basel-Stadt. In February 2019, the Basel government appointed him as co-head of the Real Estate Board of the University of Basel. In this role, he was significantly involved in the development of the new agreement on real estate at the University of Basel.

Dr. Alban Frei

Alban Frei is Head of the Higher Education in the Directorate of Education, Culture and Sport of the Canton of Basel-Landschaft. He studied history, geography and German at the University of Basel and then worked at the University of Zurich and the University of Luxembourg. Since 2012 he has been a researcher at the ETH Zurich, where he obtained his doctorate with a thesis on research policy and life sciences.

Alban Frei was managing director of a cooperation project in the field of digital research infrastructures. Since 2020 he has been responsible for research management training at the University of Bern and has developed the leadership training programme “Academic Leadership - Leading at Higher Education Institutions”.

His current responsibilities as Head of Higher Education include all cantonal higher education policy dossiers, including the bi-cantonal and multi-cantonal agreements for the University of Basel, the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland FHNW and the Swiss TPH.

Dr. Luca Tratschin

Luca Tratschin is Deputy Head of the unit National Research at the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI, where his responsibilities include research facilities of national importance, the Swiss Personalised Health Network (SPHN) and other strategic projects.

After his doctorate in sociology (University of Lucerne), he specialised in higher education and science studies. In this context, he conducted research on the emergence and dissemination of scientific facts on infectious diseases (i.a. King's College, London).

Before joining SERI, he performed research at the Center for Higher Education and Science Studies (CHESS, University of Zurich) on the impact of digitalisation on the Swiss research system. While at CHESS, he also established the national research network REHES (Research on Higher Education and Science in Switzerland) and contributed to mandates in the field of higher education and research policy.

Prof. Jürg Utzinger

Jürg Utzinger is the Director of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) and Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Basel. He holds an MSc in environmental science, a PhD in epidemiology and pursued several years of postdoctoral research in demography and epidemiology at Princeton University in the USA.

His research, teaching and training interests pertain to the epidemiology and integrated control of neglected tropical diseases and health impact assessments of large footprint projects in low- and middle-income countries.

He is engaged in trans-national global health research consortia with ongoing projects in China, Côte d’Ivoire, South Africa and Tanzania.