Kellenberger was named on Tuesday to take over as Swisspeace president in September from Hans-Balz Peter, who has overseen the group since 2006.
The NGO describes itself as a “practice-oriented peace research institute” that analyzes the causes of violent conflicts and develops “strategies for their peaceful transformation”.
Kellenberger will help make the work of Swisspeace even better “with his experience in the diplomatic sphere and his contacts on the international level,” the organization said in a news release.
The Appenzell native was secretary of state for foreign affairs from 1992 to 1992 before presiding over the ICRC from 2000 to 2012.
Since his departure from the Red Cross in June 2012 he has been teaching at the University of Salamanca in Spain and at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH).
Kellenberger is also a visiting professor at Geneva's Graduate Institute.
Founded as the Swiss Peace Foundation in 1988, Swisspeace is devoted to improving independent peace research in Switzerland by doing such things as analyzing violent conflicts and their peaceful transformation.
With a staff of around 50, it is associated with the University of Basel and is a member of the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences.
An independent research institute, it advises the Swiss government and non-governmental players on questions relative to the civil promotion of peace.
It receives funding principally from the federal department of foreign affairs, the Swiss national fund and the United Nations.