Pascal Couchepin was born April 5, 1942 in Martigny, Valais and is married and the father of three children.
Educated as an attorney at the university of Lausanne, he is a prominent Swiss politician, being a former member of the Swiss Federal Council (1998–2009) and President of the Swiss Confederation in 2003 and 2008.
He headed the Federal Department of Home Affairs (Swiss interior ministry) from 2003 to 2009 when he retired.
Former Federal Councillor Pascal Couchepin presides over the Board of Trustees for the Pontifical Swiss Guard since April 2011.
Interview with Pascal Couchepin
Mr. Alt-Federal, you took over the presidency of the Foundation for the Swiss Guards of Old Federal Councillor Flavio Cotti, your former colleague in the cabinet. What has motivated you?
The history of the Swiss Guard impressed me very much. A continuous loyalty of more than 500 years to a job and mission is something rare and striking. The Guard belongs to those things that legitimately contribute to our Swiss national pride. The fact that people of all religious denominations are members of the Foundation proves this, although of course the Catholics hold a particularly prominent role. In addition, I have had many opportunities during my career, to meet former Guardsmen; they all have a particular something: the pride of having belonged to the guard, to have sworn loyalty, there is an experience of a certain elegance in dealing with them. So you can see, there is more than one reason that motivates one to help such an institution.