Ambassador Dora Rapold has been heading the Political Affairs Division The Americas of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs since December 1, 2009. Prior to joining the Political Directorate in Berne she was Switzerland’s first Ambassador to Bangladesh from 2005 to 2009. At the same time she headed the Swiss Cooperation Office in Bangladesh.
Ambassador Rapold studied sociology and political science in Zurich, Munich and Mexico. She completed her studies with a PhD in rural development and the role of women from the University of Zurich. For ten years Ambassador Rapold was active in various fields of development, in research, for private organizations and for the UN (UNHCR), and spent most of that time abroad. During all these years, gender was always an important topic in her work.
In 1989, Ambassador Dora Rapold joined the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), first as a Project Manager in Bolivia, then as Head of the NGO Division in Berne. After South Africa’s democratic elections, she was SDC’s Country Director there and was
responsible for building the Swiss Cooperation Program which supported transition and democratization in the country. Back in Berne in 1998, she was the first woman to become member of the Senior Management Board of the SDC. She was Assistant Director General and Head of the Thematic Policy and Technical Department in the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) for seven years.