Adolf Ogi was born on 18 July 1942 in Kandersteg in canton Bern. After receiving his education in his home town, he gained a commercial diploma at the Ecole supérieure de commerce in La Neuveville and went on to attend the Swiss Mercantile School in London. Adolf Ogi is married and has two adult children.
Between 1963 and 1964, Adolf Ogi headed the tourist office in Meiringen-Haslital. He then joined the national Swiss Skiing Association (SSV), where he held the post of technical director from 1969 to 1974 before being appointed its director, a position he held from 1975 to 1981. Between 1971 and 1983, he also acted as vice president of the Alpine World and European Committee of the International Ski Federation (FIS). From August 1998 to mid-1999, he chaired the nomination committee for the "Sion 2006" Winter Olympics bid. In 1981, he became general director and member of the board at Intersport Holding AG.
As a member of Switzerland’s armed forces, Adolf Ogi commanded a mountain grenadier company in the rank of captain (1973–1978), after which he was promoted to major of a mountain infantry battalion (1981–1983). He then became a liaison officer on the staff of a réduit brigade (1984–1987) and subsequently joined armed forces staff in the strategy division.
Adolf Ogi is a member of the Swiss People’s Party (SVP), over which he presided between 1984 and 1987. He was elected to the Swiss House of Representatives in 1979. From 1982 to 1987, he was a member of the House of Representatives’ former military committee, over which he presided between 1986 and his election to the Federal Council on 9 December 1987. Between 1988 and 1995, Adolf Ogi was Head of the former Federal Department for Transport and Energy (today’s DETEC); from 1995 to 2000, he headed the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS).
From 1993 until 2000, Adolf Ogi was Switzerland’s Federal President. After 13 years as a member of the Federal Council, he stepped down in December 2000.
From 2001 until 2007, Adolf Ogi was Under-Secretary General of the United Nations and Special Advisor to UN General Secretaries Kofi Annan and Ban Ki-Moon for sport in the service of development and peace.
Adolf Ogi is an honorary citizen of Kandersteg, Fraubrunnen, La Neuveville and Crans-Montana. Sion, Randa, Gondo and Lötschental have also awarded him honorary citizenships.
Adolf Ogi has been active in numerous other capacities: as honorary president of the Swiss Olympic Association, a member of the board of trustees of Schweizer Sporthilfe (2001-2004) and as president of the Stockalperturm Gondo Foundation. Honorary member of Swiss Ski. Adolf Ogi is chairman of the Advisory Board of the Swiss Economic Forum and was a board member of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship in Geneva between 2001 and 2006. Between 2001 and 2006, he was chairman of the Schweizer Berghilfe Foundation. He is honorary chairman of the Geneva Security Forums and an honorary member of Green Cross International. Founder and patronage president of the Swisscor Foundation. President of the patronage committee of the Foundation UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch. Honorary member of Right to Play International. Trustee of the SCORT Foundation. Member of the International Olympic Truce Committee IOC.
In his capacity as the Head of the Federal Department for Transport and Energy, Adolf Ogi launched two international centres in Geneva. He is honorary president of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) and the Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF).
Honours and awards:
European Solar Prize (2000). Karl Schmid Prize, ETH Zürich (2002). Prix Galileo, Forum Engelberg (2003). Ordre olympique, IOC International Olympic Committee (2003). Grand Cordon de l’Ordre du mérite sportif, Republic of Tunisia (2003). Ordre National pour le mérite au rang de Grand Officier, Romania (2004). Max Petitpierre Prize, Max Petitpierre Foundation, Bern (2004). Honorary Doctorate Dr. h.c. American College of Greece in Athens (2004). Honorary Professor, Vassil Levski Sports College in Sofia (2004). Adolf Ogi Prize for Sport & Development, Kennesaw State University, Atlanta (2005). Human Rights Award, International Society for Human Rights, Switzerland (2005). Dr. h.c., Faculty of Philosophy and Human Sciences, Bern University (2005). Dr. h.c., International University in Geneva (2006). Dr. h.c., Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations (2006). Honorary award Credit Suisse Sports Awards (2007). European Cultural Communications Prize, Pro Europa Foundation, Bern (2012). Lifetime Award, Swiss Awards 2012, Zürich. Honorary Ambassador of Interlaken (2013). Award of Excellence, Club 55, Thun (2013). Honorary Doctorate Dr. h.c., European University Business School, Montreux (2013).