Elected members of the national executive have frequently had a major influence on the development of the Swiss social security system. At times they acted as the framers of bills, as in the eponymous ‘Lex Forrer’ (Ludwig Forrer). Other Federal Councilors have been hailed as the ‘fathers’ of specific parts of the social security system, because they were the heads of the respective administrative departments when the foundations for the laws were laid. Thus, Walther Stampfli is still referred to the ‘father of the AHV’, and Hans Peter Tschudi is often identified with the expansion of the welfare state during the 1960s and 1970s. There is a reason why the references here are only to male politicians: only once women were granted national suffrage in 1971 could they, as elected members of legislatures and executives, exert influence on social policy. The selection of the persons presented here is limited to the heads of the Federal Department of Home Affairs or the Federal Department of Economic Affairs who were responsible for important social policy reforms.