Bertrand Piccard  

Catarina Furtado

“I believe strongly, that just like a balloon can change altitude in order to find the currents which will make it change direction, men and women can raise themselves up and be responsible for the direction their lives take.”

Dr. Piccard is a scientist, adventurer, psychiatrist and aeronaut who completed the first round-the-world balloon trip in March 1999. Undertaken with co-pilot Brian Jones, the balloon trip lasted 19 days, 21 hours and 47 minutes, making it the longest flight in both duration and distance by any aircraft.

Dr. Piccard comes from a Swiss family of legendary scientists and explorers. His grandfather, Auguste Piccard, invented the principle of the pressurized cockpit and the stratospheric balloon. His father, Jacques Piccard, is a renowned submarine constructor who completed the world's deepest submarine dive of 10,916 meters in the Marianas Trench in the Pacific Ocean.

In accepting his appointment as UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador, Dr. Piccard said, "I am supporting UNFPA because I believe that every human being has the right to become responsible for the direction of their existence. I plan to support their joint efforts to raise awareness in Switzerland of the urgent need for population assistance in developing countries in education, gender equity, respect for human life and the immense benefits to the quality of people's lives that work in this area can bring."

Dr. Piccard works closely with the International Foundation for Population and Development in Switzerland. His first official function as UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador was the launch of the Face to Face Ballet in Switzerland on June 27, 2000. The ballet focused on the plight of women in the developing world. The ballet was specially created for UNFPA by Etienne Frey, a well-known Swiss choreographer.

Dr. Piccard created the Winds of Hope Foundation to fight against forgotten or neglected causes throughout the world, especially those affecting children.

Articles and Activities


Gender Equality
Male Responsibility

web  Photo Gallery
web Website