Born in 1964 from a Lebanese father and a Swiss mother, Sami Kanaan is multilingual (French, Swiss German, German, Arabic and English). His life course is divided between Lebanon, Greece and Switzerland (Bern, Zurich and Geneva). He graduated in physics (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich) and in political science (University of Geneva).
Sami Kanaan has been a member of the social-democratic party since 1988, elected to the parliament of the City of Geneva (Conseil municipal – City Council), between 1997 and 2001, and to the parliament of the Canton of Geneva (Grand Conseil) between 2001 and 2005. In the spring of 2011, he is elected to Geneva’s City Hall, in charge of the Department of culture and sports. As of June 2014 to 2015, he is the Mayor of the City of Geneva.