Willi Geiger was born on 27 February 1924 in Rapperswil (SG) as the son of Alfred Geiger, a train driver.
Willi Geiger attended a cantonal grammar school in Schaffhausen, from which he graduated in 1942. He then began his studies in administrative sciences at HSG. In 1950, he earned his doctoral degree with the thesis "Die Gemeindeautonomie und ihr Schutz nach schweizerischem Recht. Ein Beitrag zur Lehre von Selbstverwaltung " (The communal autonomy and its protection under the Swiss law. A contribution to the doctrine of self-governance)
Two years later, Geiger obtained lectureship at HSG as a privatdozent (lecturer) and in 1953 he published his post-doctoral thesis "Selbstverwaltung auf sozialem und wirtschaftlichem Gebiet als Rechtsproblem. Allgemeiner Teil" (Self-governance in the social and economic areas as a question of law. General part). Between 1954 and 1958 Geiger worked as the Sec-retary to the President’s Board. In 1955, HSG appointed him Associate Professor and in 1965 Full Professor of Public Law with a special focus on constitutional and administrative law.
In 1960, Geiger went on a study visit to the Academy for International Law in The Hague as well as Harvard University and the University of California in the USA. One year later, he took over the role of Director of the Swiss Institute for Administrative Courses at HSG. In 1970, Geiger was elected to be president of HSG. He held this office for two years before being elected to the St. Gallen cantonal government in 1972 as a member of the FDP, where he headed the building department. Until his resignation in 1992, Geiger served three terms as Landammann (1973-74, 1980-81 and 1985-86).
Willi Geiger was President of the St. Gallen Lawyers' Association for many years. He was also Vice-President of the newly founded Administrative Court of the Canton of St. Gallen between 1966 and 1972. Geiger also served as a UN constitutional expert in Congo.
He died on 12 October 1999 in St. Gallen.
1971: Research Centre for Political Science (FPW-HSG), today "Institute of Political Science (IPW)".