State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), Switzerland
Josef Widmer has been Deputy Director of the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI since 2013, where he heads the Vocational and Professional Education and Training and General Education directorate. He began his professional career in 1987 - 1990 as project leader of in-house training at the Migros Cooperative Association in Zurich. In 1990 he took over the canton of Lucerne Department for Adult Education and from 1996 to 1998 headed the state sponsored national project on vocational training in a modular system ("Berufliche Weiterbildung im Baukastensystem"). He then headed the Office for Vocational Education of the canton of Lucerne and chaired the Vocational and Adult Education group in the Education and Culture department. In 2008 he was appointed head of the vocational and continuing education service and became a member of the supervisory board of the Education and Culture department of the canton of Lucerne. From 2003 - 2008 he served as President of the Conference of Swiss VET/PET Agencies, the cantons’ professional association for vocational and professional education and training. He studied History and German Literature in Freiburg i.Ue., obtaining his upper secondary-level teaching diploma in 1988. He holds further qualifications non-profit management, business excellence and systemic organisational development.