Switzer Foundation Mission and Vision
The Robert & Patricia Switzer Foundation identifies and nurtures environmental leaders who have the ability and determination to make a significant impact, and supports initiatives that will have direct and measurable results to improve environmental quality. The Foundation accomplishes this by awarding academic fellowships and project grants, sponsoring professional development activities, and fostering a growing network of Switzer Fellows, environmental practitioners, and organizations.
By 2026, Switzer Fellows will be recognized leaders driving positive environmental change for the benefit of natural and human communities.
To realize this vision, we support the Switzer Fellowship Network, an actively engaged cadre of nearly 600 Switzer Fellows who are highly talented, committed professionals who work to effect environmental change. The Network is a highly respected resource locally, nationally and internationally for non-profit organizations, government agencies, and other entities. Bolstered by the Foundation’s long-term support, Switzer Fellows are using their expertise in natural and social sciences, business, law, and policy fields to sustain, restore, and steward our life support systems and create sustainable communities. Network members provide fundamental support, expertise, and encouragement to each other to sustain themselves for the work ahead.
To accomplish our mission and carry out our vision, the Foundation awards academic fellowships and project grants, supporting a continuum of environmental leadership from graduate school through professional careers, and nurturing leaders who will be instrumental in driving environmental change. The Foundation sponsors professional development activities, facilitates collaboration and communication among Fellows, and fosters a growing Network of Switzer Fellows, environmental practitioners and organizations.
The values which are embodied in our Programs and in our Fellows include:
- Belief in Individuals. We believe that talented and committed individuals from varied backgrounds can make a difference in this world and create positive change.
- Environmental Stewardship. The Foundation seeks to protect, improve, and sustain our natural environment for the well-being of people and the planet.
- Sustainability and Systems Thinking. We value the concept of sustainability, recognizing the urgency of living within our ecological and physical means, and embrace holistic approaches that consider the complexity and interconnectedness of natural and human systems.
- Interdisciplinary and Innovative Problem-solving. We have a profound respect for the value of interdisciplinary and innovative environmental problem-solving.
- Maximizing Impact. We seek to maximize positive environmental impact through individual and collective activities and leveraged grant resources.
- Accountability and Results. The Foundation has an ongoing commitment to evaluation of program investments and impacts in order to promote excellence, increase effectiveness, and facilitate adaptive management.
"We believe that there is and will continue to be a need for impact from highly skilled environmental scientists for both correction and prevention of further damage. These people must be fully dedicated to improvement rather than further destruction. They must be tough enough to withstand heavy pressures and controversies in order to do what is right rather than what is more profitable."
Robert S. Switzer