Director of the WSL

Swiss Government
Birmensdorf (Zurich Area) Switzerland
September 25 2020
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

The Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) deals with the sustainable use and protection of the environment as well as responsible handling of natural hazards. The WSL has around 600 employees at the head office in Birmensdorf, the WSL – Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF in Davos and the external sites in Lausanne, Cadenazzo and Sion.

The WSL is part of the ETH Domain, which also includes ETH Zurich, EPFL and the federal research institutes PSI, Empa and Eawag. The ETH Board is the strategic management and supervisory body of the ETH Domain. The ETH Board is advertising the position of

Director of the WSL

in line with its mandate. The ETH Board is responsible for proposing a candidate for this position to the Swiss Federal Council. It is planned that the person appointed will hold a joint professorship at ETH Zurich and EPFL.


You have an internationally recognised scientific record in environmental sciences, climate change and/or sustainability. You have demonstrated your integrative skills as an experienced manager of a research institution, a large research group, or large interdisciplinary projects. You are familiar with the thematic foci of WSL and the implementation of research results together with public authorities and practitioners. You aim to collaborate with other research institutions, in particular with the institutions of the ETH Domain, and to co-develop a vision in order to strengthen the Domain's ability to dynamically respond to new challenges and perform mission-driven, impact-oriented research. You are able to establish strategic guidelines and will commit yourself to developing WSL’s future and helping to proactively shape the entire ETH Domain. You are willing to hold office for at least one four-year term of office.

You are a dynamic person with wide interests, strong leadership skills and the ability to lead development and change processes. You are familiar with Swiss and European political and legislative processes and can successfully interact with the various stakeholders. You have excellent interpersonal and communicative skills, an understanding of Switzerland's cultural diversity and a good command of German, French and English.


Applications from women are particularly welcome.

Please send your complete application to by 30 October 2020. The President of the ETH Board, Prof. Michael O. Hengartner, will be pleased to provide additional information (, phone +41 58 856 86 01).

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