Wendy Schmidt



Philanthropic Focus:

Climate Change


Eric Schmidt

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Wendy Schmidt is an American philanthropist and the wife of Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google and chairman of Google holding company Alphabet. Wendy and her husband are involved in a number of philanthropic endeavors that not only fund left-of-center environmentalism and human rights initiatives but also invest in technology development, particularly artificial intelligence (AI).

As of 2023, Wendy was the president of the Schmidt Family Foundation, a private foundation that supplies grants to renewable energy projects, environmentalist organizations, and other climate change-related initiatives. 1


In 2009, Wendy and Eric Schmidt founded Schmidt Ocean Institute to support scientific research. It offered ocean scientists a year-round research opportunity that would supply them with funds and publish their research. 2

Wendy once partnered with the XPrize Foundation to fund two multimillion-dollar competitions to improve oil spill cleanup techniques and create new ocean acidification sensors. 3

Wendy gave startup money to Climate Central, an environmentalist media organization. She has made grants to the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and the Missouri School of Journalism to their fellowship programs. She has also appeared in several documentaries and was the executive producer of Gather and The Human Element. 4

Schmidt Family Foundation

Eric and Wendy Schmidt established the Schmidt Family Foundation in 2006. The foundation, based in Palo Alto, California, was created as a 501(c)(3) private foundation. 5 In 2019, the foundation’s assets were roughly $20 million with $9.5 million in expenses that year. 6

As of 2023, Wendy was the president of the Schmidt Family Foundation. She was leading the foundation’s grantmaking program “the 11th Hour Project,” which distributes funds to environmentalist energy, conservationist, and healthy food initiatives. She was also in charge of Schmidt Marine Technology Partners, a fund for scientists and engineers dedicated to ocean ecology. 7

Schmidt Futures

In 2017, Eric and Wendy Schmidt founded Schmidt Futures, a research firm and social philanthropy that serves as a fund for startups, research labs, and government agencies involved in technology research and development, especially artificial intelligence. 8

In 2022, Schmidt Futures, a scientific research firm and social philanthropy, came under fire from Politico, the Tech Transparency Project (TTP), and others for serving as Eric Schmidt’s vehicle for indirectly funding and managing the Biden administration’s AI program and other initiatives related to STEM research and development. 9

Schmidt Futures is not a standalone legal entity and is not a tax-exempt nonprofit organization. Rather, it is operated as an “initiative” by Eric Schmidt’s Futures Action Network LLC, a for-profit firm, and is funded by a number of Schmidt-related organizations like the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fund for Strategic Innovation. 10

The Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fund for Strategic Innovation

Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fund for Strategic Innovation is a private foundation created in 2013 to fund a host of scientific projects, educational institutions, nonprofits, and for-profit companies. In 2019, the Fund had a revenue of $128,642,441, expenses of $69,002,690, and total net assets of $439,821,026, according to its tax returns. 11

Personal Life

Wendy is married to Eric Schmidt. They have two children, 12 one of whom is Sophie Schmidt. She accompanies many of Eric’s technological and philanthropic endeavors and is committed to left-of-center environmentalist initiatives. Her daughter Sophie is the director of the Schmidt Family Foundation and is the founder and CEO of Rest of World, an international nonprofit journalism organization that covers technology news in countries that receive little tech news coverage. 13


  1. “Wendy Schmidt.” Accessed January 23, 2023.
  2. “Wendy Schmidt.” Accessed January 23, 2023.
  3. “Wendy Schmidt.” Accessed January 23, 2023.
  4. “Wendy Schmidt.” Accessed January 23, 2023.
  5. “About.” Schmidt Family Foundation, November 23, 2016. Accessed January 22, 2023.
  6. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990 PF). Schmidt Family Foundation. Part I, line 26; Part II, line 30.
  7. “Wendy Schmidt.” Accessed January 23, 2023.
  8. “Eric Schmidt.” LinkedIn. Accessed January 22, 2023.
  9. Thompson, Alex. “Ex-Google boss helps fund dozens of jobs in Biden’s administration.” Politico, December 22, 2022. Accessed January 14, 2023.
  10. “Frequently asked questions.” Schmidt Futures. Accessed January 14, 2023.
  11. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990 PF). Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fund for Strategic Innovation. 2019. Part I, lines 12, 26; Part II, line 29.
  12. “Eric Schmidt.” Forbes. Accessed January 22, 2023.
  13. “About Us.” Rest of World. Accessed January 22, 2023.
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