Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and his wife, Wendy Schmidt, established the Schmidt Family Foundation in 2006. The foundation, based in Palo Alto, California, was created as a 501(c)(3) exempt private foundation. The foundation’s mission is “to advance the wiser use of energy and natural resources and to support efforts worldwide that empower communities to build resilient systems for food, water, and human resources.”
At the end of 2014, the foundation’s assets were $399 million, with over $24.3 million in grants awarded that year.
Eric and Wendy Schmidt established the Schmidt Family Foundation in 2006 in Palo Alto, California. Eric Schmidt is the executive chairman and former CEO of Google. The foundation supports projects that help “transform the world’s environmental and energy practices in the 21st century.” More broadly, the foundation’s mission is to foster a positive relationship between human activity and the use of natural resources.
The Schmidt Family Foundation’s giving priorities fall under three key areas. All of these interests are housed and carried out underneath the foundation’s 11th Hour Project program. They are:
- Renewable Energy and Climate: The program focuses on reducing reliance on fossil fuels and adopting renewable energy sources. This also includes the restoration and future preservation of landmarks, using new technology, and growing awareness about the impact of climate change through public education. Example grantees include the Energy Policy Forum, Earthworks, Clean Coalition, Mother Jones, and Resource Media.
- Human Rights: The program seeks to protect communities’ access to energy, food, and water systems to ensure their survival and is environmentally sustainable in the long-run. The foundation also works to create “global equity.” Example grantees include the Mary Robinson Foundation, New Media Advocacy Project, EarthSpark International, and WITNESS.
- Ecological Agriculture: The program’s goals include changing animal agriculture and building regional food systems; to encourage these changes, the foundation is involved in long-term movement building, actively encouraging public support for policy change at the local, state, and national level. Example grantees include Real Food Media, Sustainable Agriculture and Food System Funders, Center for Investigative Reporting, Environmental Working Group, and Center for Food Safety.
Board and Key Staff
Wendy Schmidt serves as president of the Schmidt Family Foundation board. Other board members include:
- Eric and Sophie Schmidt both serve as vice presidents.
- Henry Chik is the Schmidt Family Foundation’s treasurer.
- William Arthur is listed as the foundation’s secretary.
- Amy Rao is director of the Schmidt Family Foundation.
Joe Sciortino is the current executive director of the Schmidt Family Foundation. Amy Rao serves as president of the 11th Hour Project, the Schmidt Family Foundation’s direct charitable education program on its issues.
Wendy Schmidt founded ReMain Nantucket, which preserves and protects historic landmarks of Nantucket, Massachusetts.
Wendy established the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X Challenge after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill; she and her husband also founded and fund the Schmidt Ocean Institute and the Schmidt Transformative Technology Fund.