About the Foundation

The Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation is a results-driven family foundation that invests in individuals and organizations that drive positive environmental change. Founded in 1986 by Robert and Patricia Switzer, and guided by Robert’s years as a businessman and innovator, support of emerging leaders committed to solving real world environmental problems is the cornerstone of all Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation programs.

The foundation is a grantmaking organization that mobilizes leaders from diverse disciplines who focus on integrated solutions to environmental issues. Through our core program, the Switzer Environmental Fellowship, and related grants, the foundation supports a network of nearly 700 Switzer Fellows who are leaders in the nonprofit, public policy, business, academic and government sectors working to solve today’s environmental challenges.

Over $14 million in fellowships and grants have been awarded since 1986. The foundation is governed by a seven member board comprised of family members and environmental professionals from nonprofit, government, academic and private sectors, reflecting the diversity of the fellowship itself and the cross-sector approaches needed to effect positive change. Fellows also serve as trustees and on the Fellows’ Advisory Committee to guide foundation programs and new approaches.

Spotlight on Leadership

Marissa McMahan: Straight from the Scientist
Earlier this spring, COMPASS led a policy communications training for the Switzer Fellows in Washington, D.C. that included practicing communication skills and learning about the world of policymakers, and was capped by meetings with policymakers on Capitol Hill. Marissa McMahan, a graduate student at Northeastern University who is studying the northern range expansion of black sea bass and how that affects both human and ecological systems in the Gulf of Maine, talks more about her experience in D.C.Read more >

A vibrant community of environmental leaders