Beat Vonlanthen was born in 1957 in the canton of Fribourg. He holds a Ph.D. degree in law from the University of Fribourg and a Master of Laws (LL.M.) from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Between 1986 and 1998 he worked in the Swiss federal administration, ultimately becoming vice-director of the State Secretariat for Education and Research. In 2004 he was elected to the government of the canton of Fribourg. At first in charge of the Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure department, he took responsibility of the economic affairs in 2006, a position he held until 2016. In 2010 and 2014 he was president of the Fribourg cantonal government. Since the 2015 federal elections Beat Vonlanthen is a member of the Council of States, where he represents the canton of Fribourg.