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 more than 650 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

The secret to saving the world: How ordinary people actually can prevent global disaster
The realization that individual action has little to no impact on major environmental problems — to say nothing of the existential threat of climate change — can prompt despair, 1995 Fellow Paul Steinberg, a professor of political science and environmental policy at Harvey Mudd College, says. But it doesn’t have to. We could try, instead, consulting social scientists, who have spent a lot of time thinking about just this problem: How can a single individual can act in a way that effects large-scale change?Read more >

A vibrant community of environmental leaders