Mark Pieth

President of the Board

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Mark Pieth has been Professor of Criminal Law and Criminology at the University of Basel, Switzerland since 1993. Having completed his undergraduate degree and his PhD in criminal law and criminal procedure at this university, he spent an extensive period of time abroad, most notably at the Max Planck Institute for Criminal Law and Criminology in Germany and the Cambridge Institute of Criminology in the United Kingdom. After practising for a time as a lawyer (‘Advokat’), he returned to his alma mater to complete his post-doctoral (‘habilitation’) thesis on sanctioning and other aspects of criminology. Since assuming the Chair at Basel University he has served twice as Dean of the Law School.

From 1989 to 1993, Prof. Pieth was Head of Section – Economic and Organised Crime at the Swiss Federal Office of Justice (Ministry of Justice and Police). In this role, he drafted legislation against money laundering, organised crime, drug abuse, corruption as well as on the confiscation of assets. As a government official and later as an independent consultant he acquired extensive experience in international fora, in particular when serving as Member of the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF), Member of the Chemical Action Task Force on Precursor Chemicals and Chair of an intergovernmental expert group charged by the United Nations with determining the extent of the illicit traffic in drugs. 

From 1990 to the end of 2013, Prof. Pieth has chaired the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions, also participating in the Wolfsberg AML Banking Initiative as a facilitator. In spring 2004 he was appointed by the UN Secretary General to the Independent Inquiry Committee into the Iraq Oil-for-Food Programme. In autumn 2008, Prof. Pieth was made a member of the Integrity Advisory Board of The World Bank Group (IAB), advising the President of the Bank and the Audit Committee on integrity issues. From 2011 to 2013, he has chaired the Independent Governance Committee (IGC) overseeing the reform process of FIFA. In spring 2013 he was appointed as the Chairman of the Sanctions Appeals Board of the African Development Bank (AfDB).

He is the founder and Chairman of the Board of the Basel Institute on Governance (BIG). He is a co-founder of the WEF’s Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI). He has been member of the Independent Committee to revise the practices of the legal and financial industry in Panama. As of spring 2017 he is a Member of the Vetting Panel of the IAAF and he has been asked to join the Expert Advisory Group on Transparency of the IDB/BID (an advisory Group to the President of the Bank).

Prof. Pieth has served as an expert witness in several landmark arbitration cases, namely IPOC (ad hoc tribunal) Fraport/Philippines (ICSID), Piatco/Philippines (ICC) and Spentex v. Uzbekistan (ICSID) and as one of the Final Judges of the Jessup Moot Court 2011.

Within Switzerland, Prof. Pieth has assumed various presidencies and memberships of national commissions, including the Expert Group of the National Research Programme on Violence and Organised Crime, the Federal Commission on Data Protection in the Medical Profession, the Swiss Federal Gaming Commission and the Consultative Commission to the Federal Administration of Finances on the Prevention of Money Laundering. He continues to consult corporations, international organisations and foreign governments on issues related to governance and to publish extensively in the field of economic and organised crime, money laundering, corruption, sanctioning and criminal procedure.

In July 2014, Prof. Pieth was presented with an honorary doctorate by Sussex University, UK.

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