Introduction to the Foundation Council, the Scientific Advisory Committee, and the General Administration

The Private Foundation of the Geneva University Hospitals (hereafter, “the Foundation”) is a foundation based on private law and regulated by statutes and by articles 80 et seq of the Swiss Civil Code.

The Foundation is a private law entity and as such it falls under the authority of the Geneva ASFIP, the cantonal monitoring agency for foundations and benefits institution

It is made up of 4 groups:

  •  the Foundation Council
  •  the Scientific Advisory Committee
  •  the General Administration
  •  the Review Board



The Foundation Council is the highest body of the Foundation. It ensures that the foundation’s objectives are achieved. It has the broadest powers for managing the Foundation’s assets. 

The Foundation Council meets four times per year, in March, June, September, and December.

Its mandate includes:

  • Enacting the general principles and dictates necessary for the Foundation’s activities
  • Setting the rules for how the Foundation is represented
  • Making strategic decisions, especially those pertaining to fundraising and communications
  • Researching all sources of funding that could support the goals of the Foundation
  • Ensuring a balanced distribution between the different goals of the Foundation
  • Deciding the allocation of donations and the method and duration of project funding, while adhering to donors’ wishes
  • Defining priority themes for calls for proposals, selection procedures, and evaluation criteria
  • Appointing members of the Scientific Advisory Committee and the General Administration
  • Adopting annual budgets, balance sheets, accounts, and activity reports



Composition du conseil de la fondation

Prof. Jean-Dominique Vassali
Prof. Jean-Dominique Vassali

Rector Emeritus of the University of Geneva (2007-2015) ; MD, University of Geneva and PhD, Rockefeller University.  Professor Vassalli focused on developmental genetics over the course of his academic career. He was appointed by UNIGE and is a full member of the Foundation, as well as its president since 2014.

M. Bertrand LEVRAT
Mr Bertrand LEVRAT
Vice President, General Director, HUG

M. Levrat, a lawyer by training, has been the General Director of the Geneva University Hospitals since 2013. He is very involved in social and humanitarian aid and has run Geneva’s General Hospice and worked for the International Committee of the Red Cross. He is a full member of the Foundation and has been its vice president since 2014.

Ms Sandra MERKLI
Mme Sandra MERKLI
Treasurer, Healthcare Director, HUG

Ms. Merkli holds an advanced degree in Healthcare Facilities Management and has been in charge of care at the HUG for more than 15 years.  In September 2017, she was named the Healthcare Director at the HUG and became a full member of the Foundation.

Prof. Cem GABAY
Prof. Cem GABAY
Dean of the Faculty of Medicine

Dean of the University of Geneva Faculty of Medicine since 2019, Professor Gabay is a specialist in internal medicine and rheumatology. He serves as the Director of Research and Education on the Executive Committee of the HUG. He is a full member of the Foundation.

Prof. Arnaud PERRIER
Prof. Arnaud PERRIER
Chief Medical Officer, HUG

Professor Perrier has been the Chief Medical Officer at the Geneva University Hospitals since 2015. For many years, he directed the General Internal Medicine Division and actively participated in developing and implementing the new curriculum of undergraduate medical studies in the UNIGE’s Faculty of Medicine. He has been a full member of the Foundation since 2015.

M Emmanuelle ARGAND
Ms Emmanuelle ARGAND

An expert attorney in the judicial and legal matters of charitable foundations and associations, Emmanuelle Argand practices at the Kellerhals Carrard law firm in the areas of financial and estate planning as well as trusts and foundations. She has been a member of the Foundation since 2014 and represents civil society in this capacity.

Dre Michèle OLLIER
Dre Michèle OLLIER

Holding degrees in both medicine and science, Dr. Michèle Ollier has expertise in innovation and the transfer of technologies in the fields of medical and pharmaceutical sciences. She has been a member of the Foundation since 2016 and represents civil society in this capacity.

Mr Pierre PONCET

A former Bordier & Cie associate, the economist and banker Pierre Poncet has used his experience to serve Geneva by working for the Geneva Chamber of Commerce for years.



Composition du secretariat général

Dre Stéphane COUTY
Dre Stéphane COUTY
General Secretary

After earning her Doctorate of Science at the University of Lausanne, Stéphane Couty worked for many years as Scientific Associate to the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Geneva. She has to her credit the MIMOSA evaluation system of  scientific research, the creation of the HUG-FACMED Center for Clinical Research, and the creation of the UNIGE-HUG Welcome Center. In 2013, she accepted directorship of the Foundation’s General Administration.

Administrative Assistant

A graduate of the EHL Hospitality Business & Hotel Management School, Clémence Bardier has worked with the Geneva University Hospitals since 2011. In December 2016, she joined the Foundation as the administrative assistant. She is in charge of projects related to the quality of care and wellbeing of patients and their loved ones.

Administrative Representative

Angela Guarineiello joined the Foundation in 2020 and is responsible for administrative monitoring of the Foundation.

Mme Marianne RUBIO
Mme Marianne RUBIO
Communications Agent

Marianne Rubio graduated in economic sciences and marketing; she is in charge of communications in the HUG Communications Department. She has been helping with communications at the Foundation since 2017.

Mme Sandrine SCURI
Mme Sandrine SCURI

Sandrine Scuri, an accounts management specialist, has handled accounting at the Foundation since 2016.

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Upon nomination by the HUG and in agreement with the Faculty of Medicine, the Foundation Council appoints members to the Scientific Advisory Committee. The presidency of the committee is fully conferred upon the representative of the deanship in charge of research at the Faculty of Medicine.

The Scientific Advisory Committee may be convened by the Foundation Council at any time and provides it with expert advice. The Committee proposes the method and duration of funding for projects, as well as project objectives to be achieved. Its evaluation is based on the procedures and criteria established by the Foundation Council. The Committee may rely on outside experts, whether Swiss or foreign, as needed.


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Scientific Advisory Committee for Research Projects about Patients and Processes