Madame Ruth Dreifuss is a former President of Switzerland and Minister of Home Affairs and Chair of the Global Commission on Drug Policy. She will deliver the Alison Chesney and Eddie Killoran Memorial Lecture during the conference.
Ruth Dreifuss (born in 1940, single) studied in Geneva where she received a degree in economics with special focus on econometrics in 1971. In her varied professional career she served as hotel secretary, editor of the weekly journal Coopération, social worker, assistant at the Geneva University. She then worked nine years for the Swiss Agency for Development and Humanitarian Aid (Federal Department of Foreign Affairs) and became in 1981 Secretary of the Swiss Labour Union Federation. In that capacity, she was responsible for sectors including social insurance, labour law, gender equality and relations with the International Labour Organization (ILO). As responsible for public health and social insurance, she implemented a new policy in the fields of drug addiction and prevention of HIV/AIDS. She was also in charge with the introduction of the new law on health insurance, which guaranties a universal coverage for the Swiss population. After her retirement from government, she contributed to the WHO report on intellectual property rights, innovation and public health. 

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