FIS has had five presidents in its history. Ivar Holmqvist, Nikolai Ramm Ostgaard, Marc Hodler, Gian Franco Kasper and current president Johan Eliasch have all served in the top role within FIS. The current FIS headquarters in Oberhofen, Switzerland bears Hodler's name.
JOHAN ELIASCH (*1962)
Johan Eliasch was elected as the FIS President on 4th June 2021, becoming just the fifth person in the history of FIS in the role.
Eliasch spent many years working in the sports manufacturing industry, having previously worked in the private equity industry. In particular, 25 years ago he acquired the Austrian sporting goods company HEAD, which had subsequently been built into one of the world’s leading private companies.
Beyond the sporting world, Eliasch has become a leading expert on solutions to issues caused by climate change, advising the UK Government on Deforestation and Clean Energy. In 2005, he created the Rainforest Trust, and in 2006, he co-founded Cool Earth. He has advised British Prime Ministers, and Shadow ministers, and currently is President of the political think tank, Global Strategy Forum.
Eliasch has many business interests, which have allowed him to build a considerable knowledge base. Current roles include being Chairman of Equity Partners, and the Saatchi Gallery; and a Director of Aman Resorts, London Films, the Foundation for Renewable Energy and Environment, Longleat and Pitch@Palace Global. He is an advisory board member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Polar Regions, Brasilinvest, and the Stockholm Resilience Centre.
In the past he has served on the boards of IMG (2006–13) and the British Paralympics Association (2002-2009), the sports advisory board of Shimon Peres Peace Centre (1997-2016), the advisory boards of the World Peace Foundation (1996-2002), Societe du Louvre (2005-2015), the Centre for Social Justice 2004–2015, the British Olympic Association (2003-2012) and Capstar (2013-2015). He was non-executive chairman of Starr Managing Agents (2008-2015) and of Investcorp Europe (2010-2014). He was non-executive director of Acasta Enterprises (2015–17). He was a member of the Mayors of Jerusalem and Rome's International Business Advisory Councils (2010-2016). He was a trustee of the Kew Foundation (2010-2016). He chaired the Food, Energy and Water security program at RUSI (2010-2016). He was a member of the Mayor of London's (Boris Johnson) International Business Advisory Council (2008-2016).
GIAN FRANCO KASPER (SUI) 1998-2021
Gian Franco Kasper (*1944) was elected FIS President in May 1998. He was re-elected for his sixth four-year term at the 51st International Ski Congress in Costa Navarino (GRE) in May 2018 and stepped down in 2021.
Following his studies in psychology, philosophy and journalism at the University of Zurich, Mr. Kasper contributed to different newspapers and edited the "Courrier de St-Moritz" in four languages from 1969 onwards. In 1974, he took charge of the management of a new Swiss Tourist Office at Montreal (CAN) before entering the management of FIS in 1975.
Prior to joining FIS, Mr. Kasper also worked at the St. Moritz tourist office while belonging to the organizing committees of several FIS World Cups and the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in St. Moritz in 1974, where he presided over the publicity, press and public relations sections. He has also worked for the World Championships in Bobsleigh and the European Championships in Yachting and Riding. In 1975, FIS President Marc Hodler brought Mr. Kasper to Berne to take over the function of FIS Secretary General.
Subsequently he became a GAISF/SportAccord Council Member, member of the IOC, Vice-President of the IOC Olympic Channel Services and the IOC Coordination Commissions for the Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City 2002, Torino 2006, Vancouver 2010, Sochi 2014, PyeongChang 2018 and Beijing 2022. He served as Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for the first edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck 2012 and was a member of the 2nd Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer 2016.
Furthermore he is President of the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (AIOWF) and has been elected as IOC Honorary Member in October 2018 in Buenos Aires (ARG).
Mr. Kasper is married with an adult son and lives near Thun, Switzerland.
MARC HODLER (SUI) 1951-1998
President from 1951 to 1998 and member of the IOC from 1963 - 2006.
Born 26th October 1918 in Bern (SUI). Marc Holder was simultaneously the first city-dwelling skier and the first university undergraduate selected for the Swiss national alpine skiing team. A serious accident while training for the World Championships in 1938 put an end to his career as a competitor. He then turned to technical and administrative activities. From 1939 to 1948, he led the Swiss alpine skiing team, then from 1940 to 1951 became Vice-President and head of the alpine skiing section of the national federation and was responsible for alpine competitions at the Winter Games in 1948. Within FIS, he presided over the downhill and slalom committee from 1946 to 1951. In 1949, he entered the Council. An all-round sportsman, his activities were diverse but always bore the mark of talent: university handball champion, captain of the Bern golf club team for 18 years, a sport which he practised regularly, same as tennis and swimming; three times national Bridge champion. He was President of the over the World Bridge Federation Congress from 2001 to 2006.
Upon completion of his studies at the University of Berne, he became a lawyer, and managed his practice, while at the same time carrying out his functions as juridical adviser to many different bodies, mainly in the food industry. Finally, be it the International Olympic Committee, or the Swiss Olympic Committee, these two bodies have never looked to him in vain whenever his help was needed for important tasks.
NIKOLAI RAMM ÖSTGAARD (NOR) 1934-1951
President from 1934-1951, Vice-President from 1928-1934, Honorary President from 1951-1958.
Born 1885. An army colonel, and Norwegian football champion. Distinguished himself particularly in the ski competitions at Holmenkollen. Member of the Council of the "Skiforeningen" from 1924 to 1927. President of the Norwegian Ski Association from 1927 to 1930.
IVAR HOLMQUIST (SWE) 1924-1934
President from 1924 to 1934, Honorary President until 1954. Born in Sweden in 1879. Lieutenant General, Chief of the Swedish Army. For 27 years (from 1923 onwards) he was President of the Association for the Promotion of Skiing and Open Air Activities in Sweden and, from 1923 to 1946, vice-President of the Swedish Ski Association. He was one of the pioneers who introduced alpine skiing to Sweden