Dona Bertarelli is, with her brother Ernesto, co-chair of the Bertarelli Foundation, founded in memory of their father, Fabio. A Swiss philanthropist, investor and sportswoman, she was a driving force behind Serono SA’s philanthropy and educational programmes.
Dona led the Bertarelli Foundation’s early work, serving as Chairman for much of the first ten years, and embracing her father’s approach of combining business acumen, scientific discovery and development through smart collaborations to make measurable progress towards solving complex human problems. The foundation’s initial focus of activity was 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.
The Bertarelli Foundation subsequently made marine protection one of its priorities, and today it provides global leadership in marine conservation and science. Dona leads the work with governmental bodies, NGOs and local communities to create and enforce Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) around the world. To date, the Foundation has supported the protection of more than 2.7 million km² of ocean in the Pacific and Indian Oceans and in the Caribbean Sea.
As an investor, Dona’s current focus is on assets in the hospitality and real estate sectors.
An accomplished sailor, Dona has won prestigious races and broken records both inshore and offshore, including the Bol d’Or Mirabaud on four occasions. She founded the professional sailing team, Spindrift racing, with her husband, Yann Guichard, in 2011. In 2016, the team attempted sailing’s ultimate challenge, the Jules Verne Trophy and while they narrowly missed beating the record, Dona became the fastest woman to sail around the world.