Peter Maurer (1956) studied history and international law in Bern, where he was awarded a doctorate. In 1987 he entered the Swiss diplomatic service, after he became deputy permanent observer at the Swiss mission to the United Nations in 1996. In 2000 he was appointed ambassador and head of the human security division of the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs in Bern. In 2004 Mr Maurer was appointed ambassador and permanent representative of Switzerland to the United Nations in New York. In June 2009, the UN General Assembly elected Mr Maurer chairman of the Fifth Committee. In January 2010 Mr Maurer was appointed secretary of State for foreign affairs in Bern with its five directorates and some 150 Swiss diplomatic missions around the world. He succeeded Jakob Kellenberger as ICRC president on 1 July 2012.