Robert Mardini, Grand Témoin of the Global Issues course in 2023


Event details

Date 28.02.2023
Hour 17:0019:00
Speaker Robert Mardini, Directeur général du CICR Jan Hesthaven, Vice-président académique Béla Kapossy, Directeur du Programme SHS
Location Online
Category Conferences - Seminars
Event Language French, English

The Grand Témoin ceremony is the key event of the “Global Issues” course offered by the College of Humanities to all EPFL students in propedeutics (1st year of Bachelor studies). It recognizes the best student work from the year and invites a leading figure to give a lecture tied to global issues in their area of specialization. This year, we have the great pleasure of welcoming Robert Mardini, EPFL alumni and current ICRC Director General (International Committee of the Red Cross).


  • 5:00 pm - Words of welcome by:
        Jan Hesthaven, Vice President for Academic Affairs
        Béla Kapossy, Directeur of the SHS Program
  • Presentation of the SHS Award
  • Presentation of the SHS 2022 Best Teacher Award to Florence Graezer Bideau
  • Presentation of the winning student works and prize-giving ceremony
  • 6:00 pm - Lecture by Robert Mardini followed by a question and answer period for the public

> Access to the ceremony via streaming on the EPFLevents YouTube channel
The ceremony at the STCC is reserved to students and their teachers
The online ceremony is public

The three outstanding students works: ________________________________________________________________

The “Global Issues” course:  
This course is organized by the College of Humanities and reaches all EPFL students in the first year of the Bachelor program. It provides an interdisciplinary perspective on six current themes: food, climate, communication, energy, mobility, and health.

Each course is taught by a pair of instructors, including one expert in natural sciences and engineering and one expert in social and human sciences. In the second half of the semester, the students work in teams to complete a project related to the theme that they have selected, which they present through a poster. The best poster from each group is recognized during this annual Grand Témoin ceremony.

Robert Mardini is Director-General of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), a position he assumed in March 2020. As head of the ICRC's executive body, he is responsible for steering the organisation's global humanitarian activities and its 20,000 staff in more than 100 countries, with a yearly budget of over USD 2.5 billion. Mardini began his ICRC career in 1997, coordinating programmes in Rwanda and Iraq before going on to lead the Water & Habitat unit. Since then he has held a variety of key positions in the organisation, notably Deputy Director-General (2010-2012), Regional Director for the Near & Middle East (2012-2018) and Permanent Observer to the United Nations and Head of Delegation in New York (2018-2020). In 2021, he was elected to the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences (SATW) in recognition of his ability to mobilise teams to provide effective emergency aid to victims of major armed conflicts. He holds a master's degree in civil and hydraulic engineering from the EPFL.

Practical information

  • General public
  • Invitation required


  • EPFL College of Humanities


Robert Mardini grand témoin Global Issues SHS Program EPFL