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Annick Tonti obtained a PhD in Social Anthropology and Development Economics from the University of Zürich, Switzerland. Her Ph.D. thesis was published in 1983 under the title “Dacca, capitale du Bangladesh - Le dualisme urbain reconsidéré”. Her work involved research in South East Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.
She subsequently worked for the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) as the Head of the Swiss Representative Office to the Palestinian Authority, as well as the Head of the Development and Cooperation offices in Gaza and the West Bank, and in Amman, Jordan. From 2002 to 2007 she was in charge of the SDC's MENA division in Bern and acted as an advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Upon request of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she began to teach Arab Social Anthropology and Communication at the Faculty of Communication Sciences of the Università della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano - where she is currently responisible for a Master programme module in intercultural communication. She continues to organize workshops and participates in conferences in a range of Swiss universitites on topics linked to the Arab World.