Christian Hofer has been the Director of the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) since 1 December 2019. He was previously Head of the Bern Cantonal Office for Agriculture and Nature (LANAT) for almost two years. From 2009 to 2017, he served as an Assistant Director of the FOAG, responsible for the Direct Payments and Rural Development Directorate. Christian Hofer grew up on a farm in Bannwil, in the Bernese Oberaargau region. He studied Agronomic Engineering (specialising in crop production) at the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, graduating in1998. He also qualified as a teacher and worked as an agricultural consultant at Inforama Rütti (Bern). From 2000 to 2003, he managed the Profi Lait office and also worked as a scientist for the Swiss Grassland Society (AGFF). In 2003, he became Head of Sales (Switzerland) at DeLaval – the Swedish manufacturer of dairy farming equipment – in Sursee (Lucerne). He also obtained an MBA in Integrated Management from Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH).
Andrea Leute took up her post as head of the Policy, Evaluation, Legal Affairs and Resources Directorate at the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) on 1 July 2008, she was appointed Assistant Director on 1 February 2014. Since completing her studies at the Berne Business School (HFW) she has taken further courses in company management, sales, marketing, methodology and didactics. In 2005 she successfully completed an Executive Master course in Human Resource Management (NDS FH). Working in the private industry sector, she was in charge of human resources and finance in various companies. In 2006 she was appointed head of the Human Resources Section at the FOAG.
Bernard Belk was appointed Assistant Director of the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) on March 1st, 2018 and heads the Direct Payments and Rural Development Directorate. Bernard has more than 25 years of experience in the food & agricultural sector. He started as a farmer in Switzerland and New Zealand growing crops and breeding milking cows, sheep and cattle. Bernard Belk then led the FAO program in Cape Verde and then worked at SGS SA with global agricultural responsibilities out of Geneva and Brazil. Before joining FOAG, Bernard Belk headed the Global Food & Agriculture Business at Swiss Re Corporate Solutions providing insurance solutions to the supply chain players as to protect them against yield and commodity price volatility. Mr. Belk holds a Master Degree in Agriculture Economics from the Swiss Institute of Technology ETH in Zurich, a MBA from IMD in Lausanne, a MAS in Real Estate from the University of Zürich and a apprenticeship degree in agriculture.
Gabriele Schachermayr has been Assistant Director of the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) since 1 July 2018. She heads the Production Systems and Ecosystems Directorate. Gabriele Schachermayr grew up on a farm and completed studies in agronomy at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, specializing in plant production. She received a doctorate in plant breeding from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) and later a postgraduate diploma in Management and Policy in Public Institutions from the University of Berne. Until 2003, Gabriele Schachermayr led various research projects at the Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon Research Station (ART). She spent the following six years at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), where she was responsible for an international research programme in the field of agricultural and environmental biotechnology. She joined the FOAG in 2009 and has latterly been head of the Plant Health and Varieties Department.
Jean-Marc Chappuis was appointed Assistant Director of the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) on 1 August 2018, on 16 March 2020 he was appointed Deputy Director. He is head of the Knowledge Systems, Technology, International Affairs Directorate.
Jean-Marc Chappuis holds a doctorate in agricultural engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ) specialising in agricultural economics. Before he joined the FOAG, he held posts as counsellor in agricultural policy to Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann and as advisor for the Federal Office for National Economic Supply (FONES) in the General Secretariat of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER).
He worked at the FOAG from 2005 to 2012 in the area of quality and sales promotion and later as Deputy Head of the Markets and International Affairs Directorate.
Last modification 17.02.2022