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Director of the WSL

ETH Board
Switzerland (CH)
Closing date
Jan 23, 2024

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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 its main campus in Birmensdorf, at the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF in Davos, and at sites in Lausanne, Cadenazzo and Sion, Switzerland.

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, the strategic management and supervisory body of the ETH Domain, is advertising the position of


Director of the WSL


in accordance 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 are an internationally renowned personality with a recognised scientific track record in environmental, climate and/or sustainability sciences. You are familiar with mission-driven, impact-oriented, interdisciplinary research and with the implementation of research results together with public authorities and practitioners.

You are experienced in leading a research institution, a large research unit, or large interdisciplinary projects. You are familiar with the WSL’s areas of activity and are able to develop the research institute thematically in such a way that it is strategically well positioned and embedded within the ETH Domain and the Swiss research landscape. You are willing and interested in joining forces with the other institutions of the ETH Domain in order to best position and organise the ETH Domain to meet current and future needs of society. You have the ability to lead and inspire corresponding development and change processes.

You are a dynamic, widely interested personality, with excellent leadership, interpersonal and communication skills. You are familiar with the Swiss and European political and legislative processes, and have a good understanding of Switzerland’s cultural diversity in order to interact successfully with the various stakeholders. You have a good command of English and at least one official language of Switzerland, whereby a working command of German is required.


Please send your complete application to by 31 January 2024. The President of the ETH Board, Prof. Michael O. Hengartner, will be pleased to provide additional information (, +41 58 856 86 01). The WSL is an equal opportunity and family-friendly employer, values diversity, strives to increase the number of women in leadership positions, and is responsive to the needs of dual career couples.


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