Thomas Schneider is the deputy head of international affairs with the Federal Office of Communication in Switzerland. He is also a ICANN board member. According to the organization, Thomas is an expert in Internet governance and in the governance of the "information society", specifically in consumer protection, human rights, and media regulation. He coordinate's Swiss activities related to the implementation of the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and represents the country in a variety of international fora (UN, ITU, ICANN/GAC, Council of Europe, OSCE, UNESCO, among others).
Thomas was born in St. Gallen in 1972 and has resided in Zürich since 1992. He has studied English literature, history, and national economics.
From 2003 to 2005, Thomas coordinated all Swiss activities in both phases of WSIS (Geneva 2003 and Tunis 2005) on behalf of Marc Furrer, the Swiss State Secretary. He represented Switzerland in the Bureau of the WSIS for the second WSIS phase (Tunis 2005). Other roles include:
- representing Switzerland in the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD), since 2006
- regional coordinator for the WEOG governments in the Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) of the Internet Governance Forum, since 2006
- represented Switzerland in ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), since 2009, vice-chair since 2013
- member of the "GAC secretariat task force"
- one of the initiators and co-coordinators of the European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG - the European IGF), since 2008
- bureau member of the Council of Europe's new Steering Committee on Media and the Information Society (CDMSI), since 2011, vice-chair since 2014
- chair of the Council of Europe (CoE) expert group on human rights in the information society (2006–2009) and new media (2009–2011)
- vice-chair of the CoE's expert group on rights of internet users (2012-2013) and and on
- represented Switzerland in the ITU Council Working Group on WSIS, since 2005
- co-chaired the ITU Council Working Group on Stakeholder Participation in ITU's activities related to WSIS (2006–2010)
Thomas was elected by ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee in 2014 to serve as Chair of the GAC and GAC Board liaison. His term began at the first GAC meeting of 2015 and will expire at the first GAC meeting of 2017. He took his seat as interim GAC liaison at the ICANN meeting in October 2014.
- World govts elect Swiss big cheese as their new ICANN point man by Kieren McCarthy (October 15, 2014), The Register
- Exclusive interview: ICANN GAC change at the top by Emily Taylor (November 12, 2014), Emily Taylor Internet Research
- An interview with Thomas Schneider, GAC Chair (December 9, 2014), ICANNnews at YouTube
- Thomas Schneider: Chair of the GAC, ICANN. Retrieved October 28, 2015.