Government Council

The Government Council is the supreme executive authority in the canton. It upholds the constitution and enforces the laws, ordinances, and decisions of the Cantonal Parliament. Its seven full-time members are elected by popular majority vote every four years.

Table of contents

Mitglieder des Regierungsrates
Dr. Kathrin Arioli (Chancellor), Natalie Rickli, Silvia Steiner, Mario Fehr (Vice President of the Government Council), Ernst Stocker (President of the Government Council), Carmen Walker Späh, Jacqueline Fehr, Martin Neukom Image source: André Springer ©Staatskanzlei ZH


Hello and welcome to Canton Zurich, a place that brings so many things and so many people together: town and country, tradition and innovation, Switzerland and the whole world. An extensive road and rail network cuts distances between cities and villages, built-up areas and nearby nature. Zurich is Switzerland’s economic powerhouse, a base for numerous international companies operating in financial services, life sciences and ICT and home to a robust SME sector. The airport is a hub for dozens of connections to Europe and overseas. Last but not least, Zurich is an important agricultural canton.

Between the Rhine and the foothills of the Alps, 1.56 million people live in our region. Every year thousands of girls and boys start their school career. They have access to one of the best education systems in the world, with everything from kindergartens to top-ranking universities. The canton directly benefits from this as well. The canton also provides stable legal structures, a solid financial policy, outstanding healthcare and a diverse range of culture and arts.

Together with my colleagues on the Government Council, I work to make sure that Zurich remains a prosperous canton: an attractive place to do business and a great spot for its residents to live.

Ernst Stocker, President of the Government Council of the Canton of Zurich


Ernst Stocker

President and Head of the Department of Finance

More about Ernst Stocker
Ernst Stocker, Regierungspräsident.

Mario Fehr

Vice President and Head of the Department of Security

More about Mario Fehr
Mario Fehr, Regierungsrat.

Carmen Walker Späh

Head of the Department for Economic Affairs

More about Carmen Walker Späh
Carmen Walker Späh, Regierungsrätin.

Dr. Silvia Steiner

Head of the Department of Education

More about Silvia Steiner
Silvia Steiner, Regierungsrätin.

Jacqueline Fehr

Head of the Department of Justice and Home Affairs

More about Jacqueline Fehr
Jacqueline Fehr, Regierungsrätin.

Natalie Rickli

Head of the Department of Health

More about Natalie Rickli
Natalie Rickli, Regierungsrätin.

Dr. Martin Neukom

Head of the Building Department

More about Martin Neukom
Martin Neukom, Regierungsrat.

More about the Government Council

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For the term from May 1st, 2022, to April 30th, 2023, the Government Council elected Ernst Stocker as its president and Mario Fehr as its vice president.

The order in which members are elected president depends on how long they have been in office. Newly elected members of the Government Council must usually wait until all members who have been in office longer than themselves have been president. Only then can they be elected vice president and subsequently president of the Government Council.

If several members were elected into the Government Council on the same date, the older member is given priority.

In certain justified cases, the Government Council can make an exception to this rule. If, for example, a member takes over a new department at the same time, their presidency can be postponed by one year.

Department Head Proxy
Department of Justice and Home Affairs Jacqueline Fehr Natalie Rickli
Department of Security Mario Fehr Carmen Walker Späh
Department of Finance Ernst Stocker Mario Fehr
Department for Economic Affairs Carmen Walker Späh Martin Neukom
Department of Health Natalie Rickli Dr. Silvia Steiner
Department of Education Dr. Silvia Steiner Jacqueline Fehr
Building Department Dr. Martin Neukom
Ernst Stocker
Chancellery Dr. Kathrin Arioli Dr. Peter Hösli

The Government Council's duties

The Government Council is the supreme executive authority in the canton. Its seven full-time members are elected by popular majority vote every four years and take decisions together as a collegial body. The Government Council’s duties include:

  • Drafting laws, amendments to the constitution and legislation and spending bills for approval by the cantonal parliament or
    the electorate
  • Managing a cantonal administration with about 33,000 staff
  • Determining the interim and long-term goals of government policies
  • Supervising the various authorities
  • Preparing the budget
  • Representing the canton within Switzerland with respect to the Confederation and other cantons
  • Negotiating international and intercantonal agreements
  • Ruling on administrative appeals
  • Recruiting top-level administrative staff


Dr. Kathrin Arioli

Chancellor of the Canton of Zurich

More about Kathrin Arioli
Kathrin Arioli, Staatsschreiberin.


Canton of Zurich, Government Council, 2022/2023

Canton of Zurich, Government Council, 2022/2023
Canton of Zurich, Government Council, 2022/2023

Government Council Communications

Andreas Melchior

Spokesperson of the Goverment Council

Portrait Regierungssprecher Andreas Melchior

Leitlinien zur Kommunikation

Leitlinien zur Kommunikation
Leitlinien zur Kommunikation
Publication date
September 2017
Kommunikationsabteilung des Regierungsrates