Philippe Rochat was born in Lausanne, Switzerland, on 19 October 1942. He was educated at the University of Lausanne where he earned a Doctor of Law (1974); his thesis was on Air Law "Protection against Obstacles to Air Navigation -- Contribution to the Study of Air Infrastructure".
Dr. Rochat was a journalist and reporter with Swiss Radio-TV from 1967 to1974, specializing in international affairs. He was Assistant to the Deputy Director of the Federal Office for Civil Aviation, Bern, in the Air Transport and External Affairs Division from 1975 to 1977and served as Administrative and Commercial Director of Geneva Airport from 1977 to 1985. He was the Alternate Representative of Belgium on the Council of ICAO, representing the ABS Group (Austria-Benelux-Switzerland) from 1985 to 1986. He was the Representative of Switzerland on the Council of ICAO from 1986 to 1989, Vice-Chairman of the Joint Support Committee from 1986 to 1987 and Chairman of the Finance Committee from 1988 to 1989. From 1989 to 1991, Dr. Rochat was the Director of Marketing and Environment at Geneva Airport. His duties were similar to those assumed from 1977 to 1985, but also included marketing, facilitation and environmental affairs.
Dr. Rochat was appointed Secretary General of ICAO on 1 August 1991 and served for a period of six years.