Adolf Ogi was elected Federal Councilor in 1987. As such he was in charge of the Federal Department for Transport, Communications and Energy from 1988-95, then the Federal Department of Defense, Civil Protection and Sports from 1995-2000.

In 1993 and in 2000 he was President of the Swiss Confederation. In February 2001, he was appointed special adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General in his efforts to reach out to the world of sport in order to promote understanding and support for the work and ideals of the United Nations.