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FIFA/CIES International University Network

Tribute to Bertrand Reeb, President of the CIES Foundation Board from 2009 to 2016

It was with deep regret and immense sadness that the CIES received news of the sudden death of Bertrand Reeb, President of CIES Council of Foundation from 2009 to 2016.

Bertrand Reeb was born in Lausanne on 1st October 1943 to a modest family. In a small sign of destiny, his first college was located opposite the Federal Court where he would later sit as Federal Judge (Supreme Court in Switzerland) for 19 years (1992-2011).

Before a brilliant and distinguished career as a Federal Judge, Bertrand obtained his Master degree in law from the University of Neuchâtel, and then member of the Bar in the same canton. He then became an independent lawyer and was appointed cantonal judge and president of the Neuchâtel cantonal court before joining his hometown to preside in the highest office of magistrate. In parallel to his legal career, he spent many years in the armed forces. As an army Colonel, Bertrand commanded the 8th regiment of infantry of Neuchâtel. His various roles actively demonstrated the importance he felt to dedicating himself towards his community and his country. 

Bertrand was also involved in many other activities such as the chairmanship of the Swiss Arbitration Tribunal of the Swiss Watch Industry and a member of the committee of the Swiss Society of Jurists. He also chaired the Rowing Society of Neuchâtel, a sport he practiced as a teenager with his friends Denis Oswald and Pierre Wessner. He was also a member of the committee of Neuchâtel Xamax FC. Indeed, it was his father who introduced him to football during the 1954 World Cup and from then onwards he was a fan of the game. He also practiced cross-country skiing, a sport which went on to become a big part of his life.

On 1st January 2009 he became President of CIES Council of Foundation, an institution which combined, amongst other things, his two main areas of interest in law and sport. He was extremely dedicated to his role and contributed significantly to the flourishing of the foundation as well as to its strong regional presence and international development. Working with Bertrand was always a pleasant experience as he showed himself to be straight forward, cultivated, thoughtful and intelligent in both his heart and mind. All of these attributes made him treat everybody equally and with the same goodwill.

Sensitive and humorous, he had a strong passion for the arts. He was a great admirer of Miles Davis and a fervent jazz lover in general. Married to Marianne, father of Matthieu (Secretary General of CAS/TAS) and a happy grandfather to three granddaughters, he chose to step down from his busy responsibilities at CIES in 2016. However, he continued to stay in close contact and frequently called to visit us.

We have all been deeply affected by his sudden death, which occurred far too early in his life.

With these few lines, we wish to warmly thank him for all he has done for our institution and to send our sincere condolences to Bertrand's family and friends at this difficult time.

The Direction and Collaborators of the CIES