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Wendy Schmidt

By 970design

Wendy Schmidt is a philanthropist and investor who has spent nearly two decades creating innovative non-profit organizations to work with communities around the world for clean, renewable energy, resilient food systems, healthy oceans and human rights. Through their philanthropy, Wendy and her husband Eric work toward a healthy, resilient, secure world for all. 

As president of the  Schmidt Family Foundation, which she and Eric founded in 2006, Wendy leads the foundation’s grant-making and investment programs, the 11th Hour Project and Schmidt Marine Technology Partners. Wendy also serves as president of Schmidt Ocean Institute, which she and Eric founded in 2009 to advance oceanographic research by offering scientists access to the world’s first year-round philanthropic research vessel in exchange for making their findings publicly available. 

A competitive sailor, Wendy co-founded 11th Hour Racing in 2010 to advance sustainability and prioritize ocean health in the sailing and maritime fields. Wendy also founded Remain Nantucket to strengthen the economic, social and environmental vitality of downtown Nantucket and to encourage resilience across the island and in other coastal communities. 

In 2024, Eric and Wendy founded Schmidt Sciences, a nonprofit organization working to deepen human understanding of the natural world and develop solutions to global issues with science and technology. Most recently, Wendy co-founded Agog: The Immersive Media Institute to  help creators and nonprofit leaders harness the power of virtual reality to spur positive social transformation.

Wendy has a master’s degree in journalism from UC Berkeley and a bachelor’s degree in sociology and anthropology from Smith College.