People

Amb. Thomas Schneider
Guest lecturer; Ambassador and Director of International Affairs at the Swiss Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM)

Thomas Schneider is ambassador and director of International Affairs at the Swiss Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC).

Schneider is a long-standing expert in digital governance and in the governance of the information and knowledge society and artificial intelligence (AI). He leads the Swiss delegation in various key international forums in these fields.

Since 2003, he has been coordinating Swiss activities in regard to the implementation and follow-up of the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). He is chair of the Council of Europe’s Committee on Artificial Intelligence (CAI) which has been mandated to negotiate a legally binding instrument on AI since 2022.

Schneider has acted as chair of the Council of Europe’s Steering Committee on Media and Information Society (CDMSI) in 2018/2019, as vice chair in 2020/2021, and is now a member of the CDMSI bureau. He has also been a member of the bureau of the CoE’s Ad Hoc Committee on Artificial Intelligence (CAHAI) in 2019/2021.

From 2014 to 2017, Schneider was the chair of ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) and in this role negotiated the compromise among governments regarding the ‘IANA Stewardship transition’, the biggest reform in the ICANN system. He was responsible for the organisation of the 12th UN Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Geneva in December 2017 on behalf of the Swiss government and was co-chair of the IGF’s Multistakeholder Advisory Group in 2017.

Since 2020, he has been vice chair of the OECD’s Committee for Digital Economy Policy. He is president of the EuroDIG Support Association (since its creation in 2012), and has participated in the meetings of the UN Secretary General’s High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation as personal advisor of former Swiss president Ms Doris Leuthard (2018/2019).