Thomas Gentil: Building Trust and Moving Forward Step-by-Step

Thomas Gentil

Since 1 March 2022 Thomas Gentil has been Deputy Head of Agroscope, Head of the Resources Unit and a Member of the Executive Board. Among other things, he wants to optimise workflows for the benefit of all employees.

“For an impatient sort like myself” confesses native Jurassian Thomas Gentil with a chuckle, “it was painful to recognise that anyone who chooses the direct route usually ends up needing more time to reach their destination.” Being aware of this, the 38-year-old from Delémont is happy to work towards solutions in small steps – in keeping with Albert Einstein’s quote that “the most powerful force in the universe is compound interest.”

Public administration chosen over politics

Thomas Gentil lives in Corminboeuf, canton of Fribourg, and studied Political Sciences and Public Administration (MPA) at the Universities of Lausanne and Bern. He came by his predilection for these subjects honestly, as his father was a career politician. Even so, after dipping his toe into local politics, Gentil decided not to follow in the footsteps of his father, but instead focused on Federal Administration. After developing the legal and scientific bases for the Federal Office of Public Health FOPH, he worked at the Federal Office of Police fedpol, where he was responsible for corporate development. As the new Head of the Resources Unit at Agroscope, he learned the ropes quickly. “I was given a very cordial welcome” Gentil acknowledges with a hat-tip to his fellow Executive Board members and his team. Around 130 people in the spheres of IT, infrastructure, finances, human resources, procurement management, quality and safety, and legal services work under him.

Optimising workflows – slow and steady wins the race

Thomas Gentil is aware that “The Resources Unit has recently been subject to lots of changes. The first thing I want to do is build trust and lend people moral support so that they can perform their daily work as efficiently and skilfully as possible. Being able to develop and deploy all their skills is paramount. Ultimately, this is in the interests of the whole of Agroscope.” To this end, he wants to further optimise the work environment and workflows. This means providing resources where necessary, setting up transparent processes, distributing competences and defining responsibilities. He is ideally equipped for this task, since previous projects at fedpol required the same thing – the steady, step-by-step optimisation of one’s own way of working.

Thomas Gentil relaxes at home in the company of his wife and two school-age children and is already looking forward to his next trip abroad. He also enjoys sports – strength training at home and jogging – both on a regular basis and with small increases in effort, with a view to one day reaping the compound interest in this sphere as well.