A Swiss philanthropist, investor, sportswoman, and strong advocate for ocean protection, environmental conservation, animal welfare, education and social causes for more than thirty years, Dona Bertarelli is committed to a life more thoughtful.
Dona Bertarelli is co-chair of the Bertarelli Foundation, alongside her brother, Ernesto. The philanthropic organisation was established in 1998 by the Bertarelli family in memory of Fabio Bertarelli, her father.
As chair for much of the first ten years of the foundation, Dona Bertarelli led the Bertarelli Foundation’s early work to improve the public’s understanding of infertility and sterility, through international conferences bringing together leading researchers, reproductive health experts, patients and patient advocacy organisations, as well as support and advocacy for scientific studies, and dedicated websites.
Today, the foundation strives to implement real change in marine science and conservation; life science research; and support for local communities.
Among Dona Bertarelli’s other philanthropic activities, she supports several initiatives focused on the ocean, and she is part of a community of advocates, the World Economic Forum’s Friends of Ocean Action. Supporting girls’ empowerment and education is important for Dona Bertarelli, and she is a founding patron of Womanity Foundation, which works to accelerate gender equality through innovative investments.
In 2015, she created Spindrift for Schools, an educational programme for schoolchildren in France and Switzerland. The programme was created to share her passion for the ocean, and launched to coincide with the first attempt by her sailing team, Spindrift, to beat the Jules Verne Trophy record.
In 2019, she became a Goodwill Ambassador for #TOGETHERBAND, raising awareness for United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14: Life Below Water, a campaign which matched her commitment to the ocean as well as to the wider United Nations Global Goals.
In 2020, Dona Bertarelli was named the Special Adviser for the Blue Economy for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). She will help UNCTAD promote a sustainable blue economy, particularly in developing countries, to ensure the responsible and regenerative use of the ocean, seas and coasts for economic growth, while preserving the health of the ocean ecosystem.
In 2021, Dona Bertarelli and her husband Yann Guichard launched Sails of Change to shine a light on the importance of ensuring a balance between nature and people. The first Sails of Change campaign is to raise awareness about the #30×30 movement to strongly protect at least 30% of land and ocean by 2030.
In 2012, the Ledunfly family office was established to serve the personal business interests and philanthropic activities of Dona Bertarelli, her husband, Yann Guichard, and her three children, while shared Bertarelli family assets continue to be managed by Waypoint, led by her brother, Ernesto.
As an investor, with assets in hospitality and real estate, she focuses on long-term value creation. She believes strongly in the power of business to do good for society, and drove the development of the family pharmaceutical business Serono’s philanthropy and educational programmes, when she served as Executive Director, Public and Professional Affairs from 1992 to 1997.
A keen sportswoman and sailor, Dona Bertarelli co-founded Spindrift in 2011 alongside her husband, Yann Guichard, who is a renowned French skipper. Their elite team, based in Brittany, France, represents their combined passion for the sea, sailing and competition. In 2016, Dona Bertarelli became the fastest woman to sail around the world, after completing the Jules Verne Trophy record attempt.
Dona Bertarelli reveals the stark reality and determination behind Spindrift’s record attempt for the Jules Verne Trophy, through her log book, published as J’ai Osé in 2016.
The only woman on board among thirteen men, Dona Bertarelli reveals, in a deeply personal account taken from her log book, her experience of sailing the oceans aboard the world’s largest racing trimaran, Spindrift 2 – and how she become the fastest woman to sail around the world.
She is donating all her royalties from the book to The Womanity Foundation, of which she is a patron.
L’Aventure Spindrift, published in 2016, chronicles the first five years of the Spindrift team created by Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard. This photographic essay invites readers on a journey of emotions and marine odysseys.
Spindrift is donating all its royalties from the book to the lifeboat station at Auray, La Trinité-sur-Mer.
“Suisses en Mer” presents 14 Swiss sailors, including Dona Bertarelli, who have sailed the seas of the world with a great deal of success.
By Jean-Guy Python, Joël Cerutti, Grégoire Surdez and Pierre Nusslé
Dans ce livre post confinement, Elsa Floret, journaliste et auteur genevoise, s’interroge sur la place, le rôle, le sens et la responsabilité individuelle de l’être humain… ce mammifère qui a oublié qu’il était de passage sur la Terre. À ses côtés, elle a convié 20 personnalités; artiste, auteur de fiction, directrice et conservateur de musées, comédien-scénariste, illustrateur, photographes, publicitaire, éditeur, professeur des sciences, directeurs et directrice d’institutions internationales, femmes entrepreneur, philanthrope ou mécène.Ces personnalités romandes nous aident à repenser notre rapport à la mondialisation, à la nature, à autrui bref à nous.