Federal Councillor Karin Keller-Sutter

Head of the Federal Department of Justice and Police FDJP

Portrait of federal councillor Karin Keller-Sutter
Federal Councillor Karin Keller-Sutter (photo: FDJP)

Karin Keller-Sutter was born in 1963 and is from the canton of St. Gallen. She attended school in Wil and Neuchâtel. Karin Keller-Sutter is a trained translator/interpreter and secondary school teacher. Between 1989 and 2000 she worked as a freelance translator, and also taught at a vocational school. Karin Keller-Sutter is married.

Karin Keller-Sutter began her political career in 1992 as a member of Wil town council. In 1996 she was elected to the cantonal parliament of St. Gallen. In 2000 she entered the cantonal government of St. Gallen where she headed the Justice and Security Department. In 2011 Karin Keller-Sutter was elected to the Council of States where she represented the canton of St. Gallen. She held the presidency of the Council of States in 2017/2018.

Prior to her election to the Federal Council, Karin Keller-Sutter held a variety of positions: chair of the board of Pensimo Management AG; president of the board of trustees of the Pensimo Investment Foundation; vice president of the St. Gallen Foundation for International Studies; board member of Bâloise Insurance Group and the ASGA pension fund in St. Gallen; president of the Swiss Retail Federation, and board member of the Swiss Employers Association. Between 2012 and 2016 she was also a board member of the NZZ Media Group. Following her election to the Federal Council, Karin Keller-Sutter stepped down from all of these posts.

Personal details

  • Born on 22 December 1963
  • Lives in Wil (St. Gallen)
  • Married to Morten Keller


  • Attended schools in Wil and Neuchâtel
  • Studied translation and conference interpreting at the Dolmetscherschule Zürich DOZ (now ZHAW)
  • Study semesters i.a. at City of London Polytechnic and University of Montreal (Political Science)
  • Postgraduate studies at University of Fribourg teacher training institute (vocational school teaching qualification)

Political career

  • 1992-2000: Member of Wil Town Parliament
  • 1997: President of Wil Town Parliament
  • 1995-2000: Board member of St. Gallen Cantonal Chamber of Commerce
  • 1996-2000: Member of Cantonal Parliament
  • 2000- 2012: Member of St. Gallen Cantonal Council, Head of Security and Justice Department
  • 2006/2007 and 2011/2012: President of St. Gallen Cantonal Council
  • November 2010 to March 2012: President of the Conference of Cantonal Justice and Police Directors (CCJPD)
  • 2011-2018: Member of the Council of States for the Canton of St. Gallen
  • 2017/2018: President of the Federal Council of States
  • 5 December 2018: Election to the Federal Council
  • Since 1 January 2019: Head of the Federal Department of Justice and Police FDJP


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Karin Keller-Sutter
Federal Councillor
Federal Palace, West Wing
CH-3003 Berne