Jacqueline Coté to become President of IofC Switzerland in April 2022

Press Release

Jacqueline Cote square


Jacqueline Coté profile
Photo credit: Boris Palefroy

25 January 2022 - Christine Beerli will step down as President of Initiatives of Change Switzerland in April 2022, after four years in the role. Jacqueline Coté, former Director of Public Relations at the Graduate Institute in Geneva, will take over from her. 

‘It’s been a pleasure to serve the Foundation,’ says Beerli. ‘Our team and Council have worked closely on establishing the financial sustainability which will allow us to concentrate on fulfilling our mission of building bridges across the world’s divides. I am very pleased to have Jacqueline Coté as my successor in this important task. She is an outstanding professional with solid experience in advocacy, conflict resolution, external relations and partnerships, and is exceptionally passionate about creating safe spaces for dialogue. She brings an amazing array of qualities and creative ideas. Her specialization in mediation, communications and law, along with her previous knowledge of the Foundation, bring a unique mix of skills and experience to its leadership.’ 

‘I am deeply honoured to have been appointed as the next President of Initiatives of Change Switzerland,’ says Coté. ‘In this world of profound disruption and uncertainty, IofC’s work of breaking down barriers and helping to build trust across divided societies is more relevant than ever. I intend to capitalize on Christine Beerli’s enormous achievements during the Covid-19 pandemic to expand the reach and impact of our programmes, particularly with young people, and bring life back to the Caux Palace. I look forward to leveraging our network of IofC Members, strategic partners and friends who – along with our enthusiastic team – are all united in the desire to make a contribution to a just, peaceful and sustainable world. I also look forward to working closely with Stephanie Buri and Nick Foster, our dynamic co-directors, as well as our dedicated Council members.’

Jacqueline Coté was the Director of Public Relations and, before that, Head of Communications at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva from 2009 to 2021. She was instrumental in building the Institute’s new campus, the Maison de la Paix, as a vibrant centre for conferences and seminars, thus solidifying the reputation and outreach of the Institute in International Geneva and beyond.

Prior to that Coté was the Permanent Representative to the UN of the International Chamber of Commerce and also served as Senior Advisor Advocacy and Partnerships to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. In her early career, she practised as an international lawyer in Canada and Switzerland and held management positions in the multinational companies SGS and DuPont.  

Jacqueline Coté believes that the global agenda can best be tackled by linking the public, private and non-profit sectors, and that dialogue and empathy are essential tools in achieving the UN’s sustainable development goals. She recently trained as a mediator at Harvard Law School and joined the board of several associations to continue her engagement with International Geneva.

She has Swiss, Canadian and British nationality, is a member of the Bar of Quebec and has two grown-up children who share her passion for tackling today’s global challenges in their areas of work.


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