The Path Forward — A Letter from the President

December 15, 2023
Pleasanton, CA

Last year, I invited you to think bigger with us. And you did.

Together, we gave shape to an ambitious vision for growth, with our first-ever Strategic Plan providing the path to get us there. The Hertz Foundation has never been in a stronger position in terms of financial stability and applicant demand.

This year, I invite you to do something even bigger than thinking bigger: taking action.

The challenges facing our nation and world are tangible and urgent—from concerns about AI and genetic editing, to national and global security, to climate change. 

Yet, I believe there is a path forward: principled leadership in science and technology; research and innovation that benefit not just shareholders but humankind; and breakthroughs that make a transformational and enduring difference.

This is exactly what Hertz Fellows are selected for. Here are just a few of the many examples:

  • Kathleen Fisher, office director for DARPA’s Information Innovation Office, leads the development of programs, technologies, and capabilities to ensure information advantage for the U.S. and its allies. 
  • Dario Amodei and Jared Kaplan, co-founders of Anthropic, an AI safety and research company, are working to build reliable, interpretable and steerable AI systems. 
  • J. Doyne Farmer, director of complexity economics at Oxford, is pursuing non-traditional collaborations to help create a financial system that is less prone to crises.
  • Megan Blewett, co-founder and VP of Corporate Development at Iris Medicine, is pioneering a new RNA modality that unlocks multiple therapeutic approaches and could change the treatment landscape for a range of high unmet-need diseases.
  • Bill Weihl, founder and co-executive director of ClimateVoice, seeks to mobilize the workforce, addressing a key gap in addressing climate change: the lack of robust business support for public policy that can drive rapid decarbonization.

We can’t know exactly what tomorrow’s challenges will be. But we know what we can do today: take every action possible to ensure our nation continues to build a pipeline of exceptional science and technology leaders, ready to apply their talents where they are most needed. 

I invite you to fully engage in this work with us. And I hope you’ll continue to take great pride in the role you all play in ensuring our future prosperity, security, and quality of life. I am immensely proud to be part of this community.

Wishing you and your loved ones a joyous year ahead,

President, Hertz Foundation
925.583.2401 |