SALT LAKE CITY – Daniel Oswald is the acting President of the Utah Consular Corps and the Honorary Consul to Switzerland. His role as an Honorary Consul first became a possibility in 2008 when the Swiss Honorary Consul in Utah accepted a job offer in Switzerland. The post was vacant for a time period, until the Swiss government determined that Utah was a valuable and strategic location for their interests and set out to find a replacement. All dual Swiss-US citizens living in Utah were contacted and invited to interview for the position. Throughout the interview, process Dan stood out as an excellent candidate for the role. He also received some recommendations from other community members that helped to solidify his candidacy. After a drawn-out confirmation process, he received his official appointment and State Department accreditation in the Spring of 2009.
Switzerland has long been recognized for being the home to some of the world’s largest international organizations and governing bodies. Among the list of organizations headquartered in Switzerland is the International Committee of the Red Cross. The close relationship that the LDS church maintains with the Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations, makes Utah an important partner for Switzerland. Aside from their shared humanitarian efforts, Utah is a common destination for Swiss tourists who are drawn to the state’s national parks.
One of the more rewarding and intriguing experiences he has had while serving as Honorary Consul to Switzerland involved the creation of a documentary film. Several years ago, a documentary film crew came to Utah to produce a film on family history. They were tracing a group of families that originally came through Ellis Island. The crew followed their story to show how they grew, adjusted to life in the United States, and what happened to their posterity. The film crew was interested in Utah because of the vast resources and services available to people interested in conducting family history work.
Daniel also has fond memories of his experiences with the Swiss athletes that competed in the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. He explained that many countries, including Switzerland, had their own ‘house’ where they would conduct TV broadcasts for those watching at home. These broadcasts were especially popular for countries that are known for winter sport destinations. He expressed the sentiment that the Olympics were a wonderful opportunity to showcase Utah and build lasting friendships and connections.
Utah is also a great place for Swiss, and other international companies to do business for a variety of reasons. Utah has a young and highly educated workforce that speak more than 120 languages, German included. Daniel explains that for many years, Utah was a fly-over state and was historically ignored in favor of cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, or Atlanta. As a result, Utah has been one of the best kept secrets in business. However, since its founding in 2001, the Utah Consular Corps has played an important role in reaching out and telling the Utah story. Their efforts, in combination with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, World Trade Center Utah, and others have brought more and more businesses to the state.
In addition to his role in the Consular Corps, Daniel is both a businessman and an attorney. He received his MBA and JD from Brigham Young University. He has been practicing law since 1988 and remains an active member of the Utah State Bar Association. He previously co-founded and served as CEO of a language technology and services company called MultiLing International. He has also served as the executive director of BYU’s Institute for the Study and Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts. He is happily married with six wonderful children and proudly claims that his wife is his greatest asset.