General News

Welcoming our new Program Manager!

Switzer Foundation staff: We are delighted to introduce you to the newest member of the Switzer Foundation team - Maya Higgins! 

As Program Manager, Maya will serve as the heart of grant and leadership development programs at the foundation by leading recruitment and selection for the Switzer Fellowship, designing and hosting retreats and professional development opportunities, and administering our post-fellowship grant programs. 

Please join us in welcoming Maya and getting to know her in her own words below. 

I am incredibly excited to join the Switzer Network and am eager to get to know this wonderful group of Fellows! I am joining the team from my hometown on unceded Tiwa land outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico. When not getting my hands dirty in my backyard veggie and goat farm, I enjoy testing the spice tolerance of my taste buds, walking my dogs along the neighborhood acequias, sharing queer animal facts while hosting open mics with my partner, and borrowing more books than I could possibly read from the public library at once. 

My work focuses on connecting and supporting those working to take effective action centered around justice, the climate crisis, public & mental health, and the natural world. I am a trained facilitator, mediator, educator, organizer, and network weaver with a particular interest in healing through somatics and strengthening our collective ability to invite nuance as we navigate hard things. Inspired by the work of adrienne maree brown, Prentis Hemphill, Priya Parker, and Alok Vaid-Menon, my personal theory of change centers intentional relationship building, principled struggle, and embodied transformation for collective liberation, care, and healing. 

Most recently I have spent my energy co-creating the Imaginal Cells Collective and facilitating leadership development retreats focused on cultivating belonging, working across difference, and building community to collectively create systemic change with the Environmental Leadership Program. I am a graduate of Scripps College, a National Geographic Explorer, a Fulbright Fellow, a Thomas J. Watson Fellow, a member of the Women’s Impact Alliance, and an Advisor for Columbia Climate School’s Pre-College Education Council.   

I already know that the best part of this work will be getting to know all of you and supporting the incredible work that you are doing in the world. Please reach out to say hello, send along your favorite queer animal facts or goat memes, or share any ideas you have about how I can best support you or the network. You can reach me at or (505) 218-6637.