Ambassador Patricia Danzi has been with the International Committee of the Red Cross since 1996, serving as a delegate, with increasing responsibilities, in the Balkans (Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo), Peru, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola. At head office, she was appointed Deputy Head of Operations for the Horn of Africa and Political Advisor to the Director of Operations. She served as Head of Operations for America between November 2008 and April 2015 and has been Regional Director for Africa from May 2015 until she assumed the post of director general of the SDC on 1 May 2020.
Patricia Danzi studied in Lincoln, Nebraska and in Zurich and holds a master’s degree in agricultural economics, geography and environmental science. She undertook postgraduate work in development studies in Geneva. She speaks seven languages. Born in Switzerland, she is the daughter of a Swiss German secondary school teacher and a Nigerian diplomat and the eldest of six siblings. In her student days she taught mentally challenged children and spent time teaching in a township in South Africa just after Nelson Mandela was elected President.
Patricia Danzi represented Switzerland in athletics at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. She has two adult sons.