Dr. Catherine Bosshart, Switzerland/France - BPW International President 2021-2024

Dr. Catherine Bosshart

BPW International UN Representative Geneva since 2012

BPW International Executive Secretary 2015-2017

BPW International Vice President UN 2017-2020 

BPW Club Fribourg, Switzerland (Founding Member)

BPW France



German, French, English, Italian, Chinese

Professional Career

Catherine is a Swiss historian of contemporary and modern history and specialist of gender studies. After studies in Switzerland, Germany and the USA, she received her MA in 1974 and in 1981 her PhD with distinction. After working on different research projects, she has been teaching first as a senior lecturer and then as a professor for contemporary history at the University of Fribourg.

For twelve years she was board member of the Swiss Society of History and organized as Head of the section “Congresses“ different symposia. For eight years she was member of the board of the doctoral school on gender at the Universities of Berne and Fribourg.

Her many publications cover women and gender history, church history, as well as methodology. In 2001 she published together with her student Daniela Deck the History of BPW Switzerland. In 2013, she was nominated an independent expert for the Gender Studies Program by the Conference of Presidents of Swiss Universities. During several years she was involved in the reform of Bachelor and Master Study Programs at the University of Fribourg.

Other Activities

From 1981 to 1988, she was board member of the Pre-school and Kindergarten of the University of Fribourg (finance officer) and chair from 1988 to 1993. For several years she successfully advocated for a cantonal law for early childhood institutions.

From 1999 until 2001 she was a board member of the Gosteli Foundation and Archives for the Swiss Women’s Movement.

BPW Activities

In 1997 she was a founding member of the BPW Club Fribourg. Since 2011 she has been chair of the BPW International Task force “Archives”. In this function she archived the BPW International documents deposited in Amsterdam. Since 2012, she has been the main representative of BPW International at the UN in Geneva. In 2014 she was co-organizer of the Conference Beijing +20 at the UN in Geneva and in 2015 she was elected as Vice Chair of NGO CSW. In 2016 she was co-organizer of the Conference “Economic Empowerment of Women” at the UN in Geneva. In July 2015, she was nominated as Executive Secretary of BPW International. 2017-2020 she was BPW International 2nd Vice President UN. At the BPW International XXX General Assembly 2021 she was elected as BPW International President for the Triennium 2021-2024.  


Catherine is married to Louis Bosshart, professor of mass media research at the University of Fribourg and has two sons and one granddaughter