Element of biography of Solange Ghernaouti 



Solange Ghernaouti holds a doctorate in Computer Science from the Université Paris-Sorbonne University (1986), a former auditor of the Institut des Hautes Etudes de Défense Nationale (France – IHEDN 2014), professor at the University of Lausanne Director of the Swiss Cybersecurity Advisory & Research Group Advisory & Research Group’ and ‘Sciences de la complexity’, Associate Fellow Associate Fellow of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, founding partner of the Heptagone Digital risk management and security, President of the Swiss non-profit of the Swiss non-profit foundation SGH – Cybermonde research institute, which she founded.


In 1987, she became the first woman to hold a professorship at the Faculté des the University of Lausanne (HEC Lausanne) and a pioneer of a transdisciplinary pioneer of a transdisciplinary approach to IT security.


In 2013, Solange Ghernaouti was appointed :

  • Individual Member of the Swiss Academy of Technical Sciences (SATW) for her outstanding career and her involvement in education in cybersecurity and digital citizenship.
  • Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur for the excellence of her scientific work, her publications on cybersecurity and the fight against cybercrime, and for France’s international influence (Journal officiel de la République française, 31.12. 2013).
  • Gold medal for progress. Société d’encouragement au progrès (Paris 2022).


She is ranked by the Swiss media as one of :

  • Most influential scientific personalities (L’Hebdo 2011, Bilan 2011).
  • 20 women who make Switzerland (Bilan 2012).
  • 100 most powerful women in Switzerland (Women in Business, 2012).
  • Researchers who make digital (Le Temps – Bilanz, Digital Shapers 2018).
  • Cybersecurity guards (Bilanz 2021, Digital Shapers)
  • 50 most important women for Switzerland since the 18th century by the Swiss National Museum Zurich (Women.rights exhibition, 2021).
  • Cybersecurity guards (Bilanz 2022, Digital Shapers).


In 2009, she received recognition from the International Telecommunication Union for her contribution to the development of a more secure information society.


In 2018, she was guest of honour at the David-Constant Chair at the University of Liège.


The 2020 Cyber Woman Trophy – Executive & Entrepreneur category was awarded to her at the Cyber Women Day ceremony in Paris.


She is a member of the Association des réservistes du chiffre et de la sécurité de l’information (ARCSI).


The University of Lausanne presented her with the Best Teaching Award in 2022 from the HEC faculty.


Area of expertise


Professor Ghernaouti is an international expert in cybersecurity, cyberdefence and the fight against cybercrime. Her research work is part of a systemic and global thinking framework that integrates the political, socio-economic, human, legal, philosophical, managerial and technological dimensions of digital security.

Her main research themes relate to :

  • Controlling the risks associated with information technologies and the misuse, abuse, crime and conflict of digital infrastructures and services and artificial intelligence.
  • The expression of power through technosciences.


Solange Ghernaouti is a forward-looking analyst, writer and professor at the University of Lausanne. She is one of the leading thinkers on the digital ecosystem and its impact on the living world and the environment. A sought-after speaker on all five continents, she is a regular contributor to the national and international media, as well as to UN bodies, governments and private organisations.


She has been a guest lecturer at a number of academic institutions, including École Centrale, Supelec and Telecom Paris, ESSEC Business School and the Contemporary Criminal Threats Research Department at Panthéon Assas University in Paris, Université Paris – Cité (France) (France), the School of Criminology at the University of Montreal, Colombia University (NYC, USA), the Department of Sociology at the University of Geneva (Master Média & Communication), the Center for Security Studies at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.


Research highlights


Throughout her academic career, both in Switzerland and abroad, in addition to her involvement in numerous research initiatives and the supervision of students and young researchers, Solange Ghernaouti has contributed to setting up European multidisciplinary research projects of international scope and participating in them as a key researcher.  These include the following European projects :

  • SECOQC – Development of a Global Network for Secure Communication based on Quantum Cryptography, which led to a world first in 2008 concerning the quantum distribution of encryption keys (2004 – 2008)
  • E-crime – Economic impacts of cybercrime (2014-2017)
  • Prismacloud – PRIvacy and Security MAintaining services in the CLOUD, dealing respectively with, security in cloud computing for e-health, smart cities and cyber administration applications (2015 – 2018).


She is regularly involved in conference organisation, serving on the scientific committees of numerous international conferences. She also participates in the evaluation of research projects and research centres on behalf of various scientific research evaluation agencies and academic bodies in Switzerland and abroad. She is a member of various scientific councils and research-related committees.


Some actions in the service of education and society

In 2001, she helped set up a Master’s degree in law, crime and the security of new technologies at the University of Lausanne, which she directed at its launch. This innovative interdisciplinary course continues to train students in the field of law and digital technology, who are capable of understanding the technical, social, security and legal aspects of these technologies. It was the first degree in Switzerland, and one of the first internationally, to offer a transdisciplinary and complementary approach to the disciplinary fields of cyberrisk management and cybercrime.


Her courses help to develop students’ ability to understand the strategic and operational issues of cybersecurity, cyberdefence, cyberpower, the fight against cybercrime and information risk management. Her long-term commitment has enabled her to be involved in the life of her university for many years, including as director of the postgraduate programme in IT and organisation, of the institute, as vice-dean, and as chair of the social and equal opportunities committees and of the Erna Hamburger Foundation.


For four years, Solange Ghernaouti wrote the ‘Cybersecurity’ column for AGEFI’s Indices magazine (2014-2018), followed by a blog on the website of the Swiss daily Le Temps (2018-2023).


In addition to her academic activities, Solange Ghernaouti is also involved at executive level in the Swiss government. She worked as a member of the Steering Committee on Crisis Management of Cyber Risks with the Federal Chancellery (2012-2014) for the strategic exercise on Cyber Risks (SFU 13). She was commissioned to write a strategy paper for the Federal Council and the heads of the Confederation’s departments on cyber risks in Switzerland (French, German, English). She is a member of the Cyber Defence Expert Committee – Armed Forces Joint Staff, Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (2014-2021). In 2016, she was a member of the Cybersecurity expert committee, State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SEFRI (Switzerland). That same year, following a decision by the Federal Council, she was appointed as a member of the Swiss Commission for UNESCO for her scientific expertise and her approach to the complex problems associated with information technologies, but also because of her humanistic and transdisciplinary vision. Her first mandate has been renewed until 2028. She was interviewed in 2019 by the French National Commission for UNESCO and contributed to the CNFU-MGEN report on “The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence, Data and Transhumanism” in 2021.


Some activities in the service of international organisations


Her commitment to serving society led her to join the international NGO ‘The Global Initiative against Transnational Crime’ (GITOC, Vienna) as a Member of the Board in 2017.


An expert with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) since 2001, Solange Ghernaouti took part in the preparations for the World Summit on the Information Society in Geneva in 2003 as a civil society representative, then in Tunis in 2005. She was a member of the High-Level Expert Group of the International Telecommunication Union’s Global Cybersecurity Agenda and was responsible for international working groups on cybersecurity strategies (2007-2008). In this capacity, she contributed to the drafting of the ITU’s Global Strategic Report, a global reference for the development of national cybersecurity strategies and policies. She is the author of the Guide to Cybersecurity for Developing Countries (ITU, first edition 2006 presented at the World Telecommunication Conference in Doha in 2006) and of the publication “Information Security for Economic and Social Development”, UNESCAP (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific) (2008). She is the author of the “Guide pratique de la cybersécurité et de la cyberdéfense” of the Organisation internationale de la francophonie (2017). She is an expert with the European Parliament and the Council of Europe (2005-), an expert with the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF Geneva) (2010-) and with the Organisation internationale de la francophonie (2012-).

Some artistic, cultural, museum and media activities

Solange Ghernaouti was the subject of :

  • in 2017, a video on data protection that can be seen at the Museum of Communication in Bern ;
  • a “Lipstick leader” portrait exhibition in Zurich in 2018 (artist Daniel Eisenhut);
  • a chapter in the book “Cyberwomen, des parcours hors normes, une filière d’avenir” by journalist Sylvaine Luckx and photographer Alain Zimeray, published by Michel de Maule, Paris, 2019;
  • a character she played herself in the play “Le robot qui m’aimait”. The Empowerment Foundation. Performances at L’Octogone in Pully (2018) and Les Forces motrices in Geneva (2019);
  • At the Rencontres du 7ème Art de Lausanne 2019, Solange Ghernaouti gave a talk for the general public on artificial intelligence following the screening of Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey;
  • an exhibition of the 50 most important women at the Swiss National Museum (Landesmuseum) in Zurich as part of a temporary exhibition on women’s rights (5.3.2021 – 18.7.2021);
  • a portrait and exhibition on the fight for women’s rights in Switzerland, “De haute lutte”, produced by the University of Lausanne (2021);
  • a film entitled “La femme Cyber, une pionnière”, part of the “Plan Fixe” series produced by the Swiss Film Archive (2022);
  • an exhibition (August – September 2021, Martigny) and a card in the “Et si j’étais ?” 7-family card game (2022) by the “Collectif Femmes-Valais”;
  • a chapter in the book of portraits of women in the book “Je suis une femme, et je travaille dans la cybersécurité” (I’m a woman, and I work in cybersecurity) published by E-theque, 2023.


An academic committed to thinking about the world around her, Solange Ghernaouti has taken part in several hundred television and radio programmes (France Culture, RTBF, RTS, RFI, etc.), interviews with the press (daily newspapers, specialist magazines (Science & Avenir), etc.) and various podcasts, both in Switzerland and abroad.



Solange Ghernaouti is the author of a large number of scientific and popular publications, as well as around forty books written in French or English (some have been translated into Chinese, Arabic, Spanish, Russian and English). His books focus mainly on the information society and the political, economic, technical, legal and societal aspects and challenges of cybersecurity and the Internet. Together with the philosopher René Berger, she explored the marvellous side of technology in a book published in 2010 entitled Technocivilisation, pour une philosophie du numérique (Technocivilisation, for a philosophy of the digital), a book that paved the way for digital humanities.