Thomas Held

Thomas Held is the first managing director of Avenir Suisse, a think tank for economic and social issues, which commenced its operations on January 1, 2001. Funded by 13 of the largest Swiss multinationals, Avenir Suisse undertakes analysis and prepares proposals for public debate on economic and social policy issues, predominantly in areas such as demography, education, economic growth, productivity and fiscal matters. Between 1989 and 2000, prior to taking up his post at Avenir Suisse, Dr. Held ran his own consultancy and project management company, which serviced major German publishing companies in the area of editorial operations and/or product development. In 1994/5 he acted as interim CEO of Badischer Verlag GmbH, the publisher of an important regional German newspaper, and from 1992 until 1999 he directed the foundation that developed and realized the Culture and Congress Center (KKL) in Lucerne. After leaving his first major position as Senior Vice President of advertising, sales and circulation at the publishing house Ringier AG in 1986, Dr. Held worked until 1989 as a consultant and project manager with the Hayek Engineering Group. Throughout his professional career, Dr. Held has published material in a number of newspapers and magazines on a wide range of social and economic subjects. Between 1985 and 1991 he was a regular columnist for the business monthly, BILANZ. A Swiss citizen, Dr. Held earned a Ph.D. degree in sociology and German literature at the University of Zurich in 1978. He has taught at the Universities of Zurich, Vienna, Stanford and the University of California, Berkeley as a visiting scholar and lecturer. He is an alumnus of the Advanced Management Program of the Harvard Business School.