Viola Amherd was elected to the Federal Council in 2018 and has been head of the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS) since 1 January 2019, making her Switzerland's first female defence minister. In December 2023, Viola Amherd was also elected President of the Swiss Confederation for 2024.
Amherd was Mayor of Brig-Glis from 2000 to 2012 and a member of the National Council from 2005 to 2018. Born in the Valais, she completed her schooling at the Kollegium in Brig and studied law at the University of Fribourg, graduating in 1987. She qualified as a notary in 1990 and was called to the Bar of the Canton of Valais in 1991. Since then, she has worked as an independent lawyer and notary in Brig-Glis.
In addition to her legal work, Viola Amherd has held a number of directorships and has been active in various associations and organisations.