Thomas Schneider is the deputy head of the international affairs service and the international information society coordinator at the Swiss Federal Office of Communication (OFCOM) in the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC). He is an expert in Internet governance and in the governance of the information society, in particular media/new media regulation, human rights and consumer protection. He is coordinating the Swiss activities with regard to the implementation and follow-up of the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and is representing Switzerland in a number of international fora (UN, ITU, ICANN/GAC, Council of Europe, OSCE, UNESCO, etc.).
Mr. Schneider has represented Switzerland in the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) which is responsible for assessing the WSIS Follow-up in the UN System, since 2006. He has been the regional coordinator for the WEOG governments in the Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) of the Internet Governance Forum since 2006. He has represented Switzerland in ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) since 2009 and has been vice-chair of the GAC since 2013. He is also a member of the „GAC secretariat task force“. He is one of the initiators and co-coordinators of the European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG – the European IGF), since 2008. He is a bureau member of the Council of Europe’s new Steering Committee on Media and the Information Society (CDMSI) since 2011 and vice-chair since 2014. He was vice-chair of the Council of Europe (CoE) expert group on rights of internet users (2012-2013) and chair of the CoE’s expert group on new media (2009-2011) and on human rights in the information society (2006-2009). He was the chair of the past CoE’s expert groups on new media (2009-2011) and on human rights in the information society (2006-2009). He has represented Switzerland in the ITU Council Working Group on WSIS since 2005) and co-chaired the ITU Council Working Group on Stakeholder Participation in ITU’s activities related to WSIS (2006-2010).
From 2003-2005, he coordinated all Swiss activities in both phases of WSIS (Geneva 2003 and Tunis 2005) on behalf of Marc Furrer, the Swiss State Secretary responsible for both WSIS phases including the Swiss hosting of the first phase of WSIS in Geneva. He represented Switzerland in the Bureau of the WSIS for the second phase of WSIS (Tunis 2005).
Mr. Schneider was born in St. Gallen in 1972 and has lived in Zürich since 1992, where he studied history, national economics and English literature. He likes alternative rock music and French vintage cars with hydraulic suspension. He is married with two children.
Mr. Schneider was elected in 2014, by ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee to serve as Chair of the GAC and GAC Board liaison, for a term starting at the first GAC meeting of 2015 and expiring at the first GAC meeting of 2017. He took his seat as interim GAC liaison at the ICANN meeting in October 2014.