Born Dec. 29, 1871, in Airolo, Ticino; died Jan. 23, 1940, in Bern. Swiss statesman.
Motta was educated as a lawyer. From 1899 to 1911 he was an assemblyman in the National Council (legislature) and leader of the Catholic Conservative Party. From 1912 to 1919 he was director of the department of finance. In 1920 he became head of the political department, that is, the ministry of foreign affairs, and was head of the Swiss delegation to the League of Nations. In 1915, 1920, 1927, 1932 and 1937 he served as president of Switzerland. In foreign relations, Motta favored rapprochement with the fascist powers and pursued a policy hostile toward the USSR.