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Eric Schmidt

Eric Schmidt is technical advisor to Alphabet, a member of its board of directors, and former executive chairman.

Eric joined Google in 2001 and helped grow the company from a Silicon Valley startup to a global leader in technology. He served as Google’s Chief Executive Officer from 2001-2011, and as chairman from 2011-2015. Prior to Google, Eric held leadership roles at Novell and Sun Microsystems, Inc. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University as well as a master’s degree and Ph.D. in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley. He was a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Eric is Chairman of the Department of Defense’s Innovation Board and was awarded the Medal for Distinguished Public Service by Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter.

He is the co-author of The New Digital Age and How Google Works, and serves on the boards of the Mayo Clinic and the Broad Institute.

Wendy Schmidt

Wendy Schmidt is President of The Schmidt Family Foundation, where she works to advance the development of renewable energy and the wiser use of natural resources. The Foundation houses its grant-making operation in The 11th Hour Project, which supports more than 150 non-profit organizations around the world in program areas including renewable energy, ecological agriculture, human rights, and our maritime connection through the 11th Hour Racing program.

In 2009, Wendy Schmidt and her husband, Eric Schmidt, created the Schmidt Ocean Institute (SOI), and in 2012 launched the research vessel, Falkor, as a mobile platform to advance ocean exploration, discovery, and knowledge, and catalyze the sharing of information about the oceans. Since 2012, Falkor has hosted more than 500 scientists from 26 countries.

To further her commitment to ocean issues, in 2010 Wendy Schmidt partnered with XPRIZE, following the Deepwater Horizon disaster, to sponsor the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup XCHALLENGE, a $1.4 million competition designed to identify efficient and innovative solutions to clean up surface oil spills.

Wendy Schmidt once again partnered with XPRIZE in 2012 to design the Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE, a $2 million purse, awarded in July, 2015, where competitors responded to the global need for accurate and available sensors to more broadly measure the signs of ocean acidification, one of the harbingers of climate change.

Wendy Schmidt is the Lead Philanthropic Partner of the New Plastics Economy Initiative, which is led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Wendy earned an M.J. in Journalism from The University of California at Berkeley, and a B.A. magna cum laude from Smith College.