Our Approach

The Switzer Environmental Fellowship is our core strategy for identifying and nurturing environmental leaders. Each year, twenty Switzer Fellows are selected from diverse academic and personal backgrounds to receive the graduate fellowship based on their accomplishments, leadership potential, and commitment to positive environmental change. The fellowship includes a cash award, leadership training, and opportunities for ongoing professional development and other grants throughout a fellow’s career. 

The Switzer Network is a vibrant community of more than 700 environmental and social change leaders in science, policy, justice, health, economics, advocacy, planning, business, law, and more. Investing in the network is a key way that we support fellows in finding belonging and inspiration, celebrating multidisciplinary and multicultural work and increasing their impact through professional development and collaboration. 

The Switzer Foundation holds strong values for equity and shared leadership. Switzer Fellows guide the foundation’s programs and strategies by serving on staff, the Fellows Advisory Committee, Board of Trustees, ad-hoc committees, and as reviewers and interviewers during the fellowship selection process. 

The following stories highlight ways in which we work to embed equity and justice and principles of trust-based philanthropy throughout our programs, governance, and operations.