Welcome message

Consul General Benedikt Wechsler
Consul General Benedikt Wechsler ©EDA

Dear fellow Swiss citizens, dear friends of Switzerland, 

It is a unique privilege to serve you as the Consul General of Switzerland here in San Francisco. While my main focus lies on digitalization and new technologies in the Silicon Valley, I am dedicated to represent your interests in entire California and other twelve Western U.S. States, ranging all the way to Alaska and Hawaii. 

The unprecedented global health crisis has exposed both our countries and our people to a severe test of resilience and solidarity. I am convinced that Switzerland and this extremely dynamic, innovative and multicultural part of the United States with its creative and ambitious people coming from all continents will also contribute to overcome this crisis and shape a better future for our planet. It is my firm intention to explore the vast consular district as soon as possible again in order to build up partnerships and friendships, which add value not only to the U.S. and the different States or municipalities you live in, but also to our own beautiful country and the world as a whole: I will always look for the triple-win! Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have specific ideas on how we can serve your interests even better in the future. 

“Keine Zukunft ohne Herkunft” goes the saying in Switzerland, which can be translated as “no future without a past”. As we face a global migration challenge at the same time, we should be aware that a substantial part of the Swiss immigrants to the U.S. would not have passed the borders under current circumstances. Think of General Sutter who came to Sacramento with a prison charge back home to start a new life or the over 30,000 countrymen from Ticino who fled poverty to look for a better life in California. Today, we take pride in many Swiss who have leading management positions in the Silicon Valley, work for NASA passionately in search of life on Mars, or add value to the U.S. economy, to society, and to the arts in unlimited and creative ways. Let’s not forget that Switzerland is the number one foreign investor in the U.S. for Research & Development. We may be a small country, but when it comes to research and innovation, we are a big power, which is something we can be proud of. You can be proud of yourselves too. You are all individually contributing in one way or another to how Switzerland is perceived in the United States. Just like me, you are Ambassadors for our country and values. 

I look forward to getting to know you on future occasions, be it here in San Francisco, the Bay Area, or in the respective States and cities you live in. Although we are facing atypical times in view of the Coronavirus with only limited possibilities to meet, my team at the Consulate General, swissnex San Francisco, Swiss Business Hub and Switzerland Tourism will be more than happy to welcome you back at Pier 17 as soon as the situation improves and we can resume organizing public programs at our common public event space. 

In the meantime, I wish you and your families, friends, and loved ones all the best. Stay healthy and happy.

 

Benedikt Wechsler
Consul General