Petra Nemcova Biography



Petra currently graces campaigns and is a global brand ambassador for Chopard, Mercedes and Tumi. Her major breakthrough was in 2003 as the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition cover girl. As a model, Petra has achieved international success, working with brands such as Max Factor, Pantene, Clarins, La Perla, Clinique and Victoria’s Secret.


Petra founded her charity, Happy Hearts Fund, in 2006 with a mission to rebuild safe, resilient schools in areas impacted by natural disasters. Since its inception, she has been involved on a daily basis. Her initial work in an executive capacity has helped establish the structure, vision, and strategy that positioned HHF for long-term success. Petra has been the key motivation and drive behind the cause of rebuilding schools for children forgotten after natural disasters

due to lack of sustained response. Her self-understanding of the power of Mother Nature helps her connect with those in need of aid, empowerment, and hope after their lives have been shattered, as she was blessed to survive a near death experience in the 2004 Tsunami. “We can’t control nature, but we can control the actions we take.” Petra has led HHF to benefit more than 101,200 children and 626,500 community members thus far. Happy Hearts Fund has presence in 10 countries: Thailand, Indonesia, Peru, Mexico, United States, Chile, Colombia, Haiti, Philippines, and Nepal. To date HHF has rebuilt 171 schools and counting.

In the Fall of 2017 Happy Hearts Fund merged with All Hands Volunteers to create All Hands and Hearts - Smart Response in order to efficiently and effectively address the immediate and long-term needs of communities impacted by natural disasters. All Hands and Hearts arrives early for first response and stays late to rebuild schools and homes in a disaster- resilient way.


Petra's entrepreneurial spirit was materialized in 2013 when she launched the international luxury home décor brand, Be The Light New York by Petra Nemcova (BTLNY) with cofounder and branding expert, Christian Hosford. Inspired by her life of traveling to fascinating countries, BTLNY brings treasures from travels with elements of playful luxury to enrich homes and lives. 10% of all proceeds from BTLNY go to rebuilding schools with Happy Hearts Fund.


Petra is also a renowned public speaker and the author of “Love Always, Petra” which she wrote to help children affected by the Tsunami with 100% of the proceeds being sent to support Thai children. She serves on the advisory board of the acclaimed Glamour’s Women of the Year Fund. Petra has received several accolades from organizations for her philanthropic work including The United Nations, Women Together, Glamour Woman of the Year, and Do Something. In 2017, Petra was appointed by the UNISDR as a Disaster Risk Reduction Champion and Tsunami Awareness Advocate.

Petra's Social Links:

HappyHeartsFund (on Instagram): @AllHandsAndHearts
Petra's Instagram: @pnemcova
Petra's Facebook: PetraNemcova