Micheline Calmy-Rey was born in Sion in Canton Valais on 8 July 1945. She is married with two children and has a degree in political science from the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva.
For 20 years she ran a book distribution business. In 1979, she joined the Socialist Party of Geneva, which she later served as president for two terms. As a deputy in the Grand Conseil, or cantonal legislature, she took an interest in public finance, and when she became a member of the cantonal government in 1998, she took over as head of the Department of Finance. In four years, she achieved her goal through a thorough restructuring of the Department's services. She also successfully oversaw the restructuring of the Cantonal Bank of Geneva which was burdened by a large volume of non-performing loans.
Micheline Calmy-Rey was elected to the Swiss Federal Council on 4 December 2002 and was appointed as head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). She pursues an active foreign policy marked by a commitment to promoting peace, respect for international law and human rights, and the fight against poverty. The aim of this policy is to ensure security and well-being for all Swiss citizens.
In 2007, Micheline Calmy-Rey was President of the Confederation. In 2011 she will again assume the duties of President of the Confederation.