The Founders

IDHEAP was created as a “Foundation for an Institute of Advanced Studies in Public Administration”. Enrico Bignami, former CEO of Nestlé, was behind this initiative, after having founded - also in Lausanne - the IMEDE, which later became the IMD-International Institute for Management Development. Other founders include the State of Vaud, the University of Lausanne, the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and the Association des Amis de l'IDHEAP.

The foundation Presidents

  • 1981–1988 Olivier Long , Swiss Ambassador, negotiator for the Evian Accords
  • 1988–1997 Pierre Languetin, Chairman of the Governing Board of the Swiss National Bank
  • 1997–2004 Arthur Dunkel , Director-General of the GATT (now the World Trade Organisation)
  • 2005–2016 Barbara Haering, former National Councillor, Vice-President of the European Research Area and Innovation Committee

The institute directors

  • 1981–1994 Raimund E. Germann, Professor of Public Administration and Institutional Policy
  • 1995–2002 Peter Knoepfel, Professor of Public Policy and Sustainability
  • 2003–2011 Jean-Loup Chappelet, Professor of Public Management and Information Systems
  • 2012–2016 Martial Pasquier, Professor Public Management and Marketing
  • 2016– 2020 Andreas Ladner, Professor of Swiss Public Administration and Institutional Policy
  • 2021- Prof. Nils Soguel, Public Finance


Four Decades of History

Year Key Events
1981 Creation of the Foundation on 23 April
1982 Agreement with UNIL (University of Lausanne) and first classes in BFSH1 on 5 October
1983 Opening of the Avenue de Provence Research Centre. Agreement signed with Switzerland’s Federal Personnel Office
1984 Launch of short-term courses for the Canton of Vaud
1987 Recognition by the Swiss Confederation
1990 Cooperation Agreement with the European Institute of Public Administration (IEAP), Maastricht
1991 Teaching moves to semesters. Launch of the Solothurn Seminars on Europe
1992 IDHEAP moves to the Vieux-Collège in Chavannes-près-Renens
1993 Cooperation Agreement with the Swiss Post Office
1994 Creation of the Master of Arts in Public Administration. Launch of the SSC programme (Seminars for Specialists and Managers)
1995 Introduction of doctoral studies via IDHEAP–University of Lausanne
1997 Teaching and research units become autonomous
1998 First doctoral studies in Public Administration completed
1999 Inauguration of the Mouline building annexe
2000 Entry into force of the service agreement between the Canton of Vaud and the Swiss Confederation
2001 Cooperation Agreement with the University of Public Administration in Quebec (ENAP)
2002 Overhaul for the Master of Arts in Public Administration
2003 Teaching moves to trimesters. Cooperation Agreement with the Center of Competence for Public Management at the University of Bern
2004 Launch of the executive DEAP (Executive Diploma in Public Action)
2005 Agreements with the National Institute of Administration (INA) in Lisbon, Portugal, and the Sun Yat Sen University (Zhongshan) in Canton, China
2005 Master of Arts in Public Administration is accredited by the EAPAA (European Association for Public Administration Accreditation)
2005 IDHEAP is accredited by the Conference of Universities of Western Switzerland, following the report by the OAQ (Body for the Accreditation and Quality Assurance of Swiss higher education establishments)
2006 Opening of first courses for the Master of Arts in Public Management and Policy (Master PMP)
2010 Inauguration of the Mouline 28 building
2014 IDHEAP is integrated into the University of Lausanne’s Faculty of Law, Criminal Sciences and Public Administration
2018 Organization of the EGPA annual conference
2021 Ceremony to mark the Institute's 40th anniversary and inauguration of the IDHEAP 40 Exhibition
2022 Inauguration of the Learning Lab, the first at the University of Lausanne
2023 Launch of the IDHEAP Model of Public Administration
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