Dona Bertarelli is a philanthropist, investor and sportswoman. She is co-chair of the Bertarelli Foundation, the philanthropic organisation established by the family, which strives to implement real change in marine science and conservation; life science research; and support for local communities. She is the Special Adviser for the Blue Economy for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). She is founder and skipper of Spindrift racing, the professional sailing team based in La Trinité-sur-Mer, France.

Dona Bertarelli

From 1992 to 1997, Dona served as Executive Director, Public and Professional Affairs at Serono SA, before taking absence in 1998 to raise her family. As a driving force behind the development of Serono’s philanthropy and educational programmes, Dona was instrumental in creating the Bertarelli Foundation, which she continues to chair today alongside her brother. Dona continues to be a strong advocate for increased ocean protection and environmental conservation, and, through the foundation, has supported the protection of more than 2.7 million km2 of ocean.

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 racing, to beat the Jules Verne Trophy record.

In 2020, Dona was named the Special Adviser for the Blue Economy for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). She helps 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.

Among Dona’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. She also supported the creation of projects to help young people on the front line of climate change in creating sustainable and social enterprises. Supporting girls’ empowerment and education is important for Dona, and she is a founding patron of Womanity Foundation, which works to accelerate gender equality through innovative investments.

As an investor, with assets in hospitality and real estate, she focuses on long-term value creation.

Dona co-founded Spindrift racing in 2011 alongside her husband and renowned French skipper, Yann Guichard. The elite team, based in Brittany, France, represents their combined passion for the sea, sailing and competition. As skipper, Dona has won prestigious races and broken records both inshore and offshore. She has won the prestigious Bol d’Or Mirabaud on four occasions, and in the winter of 2015-16, she was helmsman-trimmer aboard Spindrift 2, the world’s largest maxi-trimaran, as the team attempted sailing’s ultimate challenge, the Jules Verne Trophy. Although the team narrowly missed beating the record, Dona became the fastest woman to sail around the world.

www.fondation-bertarelli.org
www.donabertarelli.com
www.unctad.org/dona-bertarelli
www.spindrift-racing.com