Wendy Schmidt, Corporate Secretary, Founding Board Member
Wendy Schmidt is a philanthropist and investor who has spent more than a dozen years creating innovative non‐profit organizations to solve pressing global environmental and human rights issues. Recognizing the human dependence on sustaining and protecting our planet and its people, Wendy has built organizations that work to educate and advance an understanding of the critical interconnectivity between the land and the sea. Through a combination of grants and investments, Wendy’s philanthropic work supports research and science, community organizations, promising leaders, and the development of innovative technologies.
As president of The Schmidt Family Foundation, a non‐profit she started in 2006 with her husband, Eric, Wendy leads the team that works to address the global crisis of climate change through grants and impact investments in renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, human rights and marine technology. In 2015, Wendy started Schmidt Marine Technology Partners, another program of The Schmidt Family Foundation, that supports the development of promising technologies that solve complex ocean health issues and have strong commercialization potential.
Wendy and Eric also co‐founded Schmidt Ocean Institute in 2009 to advance oceanographic research through the development of innovative technologies, open sharing of information and broad communication about ocean health. The institute operates Falkor—the only year‐round, seagoing philanthropic research vessel in the world—and a 4500m remotely operated underwater robotic vehicle, SuBastain. Both are made available to the international science community at no cost.
Wendy has extended her oceans‐focused work to the sporting world through 11th Hour Racing, an organization she co‐founded in 2010 to work with the sailing community and maritime industry to advance solutions and practices that protect and restore the health of the oceans. Wendy also founded ReMain Nantucket and ReMain Ventures, two charitable and entrepreneurial organizations that support the economic, social and environmental vitality of the island of Nantucket.
In 2017, Wendy and Eric founded Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic initiative that finds exceptional people and helps them do more for others together. In the fall of 2019, Wendy and Eric announced a $1 billion philanthropic commitment to identify and support talent across disciplines and around the world to serve others and work to solve the world’s most pressing problems.
Wendy has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of California at Berkeley, and she graduated magna cum laude from Smith College with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and anthropology. She worked in marketing communications and later interior design in Silicon Valley before turning her focus to philanthropy in 2006.