Government Council

Offizielles Regierungsfoto 2021

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


There are 1.55 million of us living in the Canton of Zurich. Every day we work hard for our families, in our jobs and in our communities. We come up with ideas, celebrate successes and deal with disappointments. We enjoy life, and in times not dominated by coronavirus, we enjoy plenty of freedom as well.

Living in a modern, open and diverse society is fascinating – and challenging.

No two days are the same. Things develop at incredible speed. Mobility, digitalisation, diversity of cultures, languages and religions transform our familiar environment. So I invite you to join us in making this change happen together! Let’s work for a society where people in all walks of life can find a place and feel they belong. Everyone’s involvement, and our willingness to help shape the social and economic progress of our canton, are immensely valuable. This engagement is the backbone of democracy.

In recognition of this, the Government Council has decided to actively encourage everyone to get involved. We, the seven Government Councillors and the Chancellor, want all 1.55 million people in Canton Zurich, including you, to feel they belong and are part of our community.

Jacqueline Fehr, President of the Government Council of the Canton of Zurich


Jacqueline Fehr

President and Head of the Department of Justice and Home Affairs

More about Jacqueline Fehr
Jacqueline Fehr, Regierungspräsidentin.

Ernst Stocker

Vice President and Head of the Department of Finance

More about Ernst Stocker
Ernst Stocker, Regierungsrat.

Mario Fehr

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.

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, 2021, to April 30th, 2022, the Government Council elected Jacqueline Fehr as its president and Ernst Stocker 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, 2021/2022

Canton of Zurich, Government Council, 2021/2022
Canton of Zurich, Government Council, 2021/2022

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


Staatskanzlei – Kommunikationsabteilung des Regierungsrates

More information