2024 Switzer Fellowships awarded to environmental change-makers

Woodwell Climate Policy Analyst Natalie Baillargeon chosen as a recipient

Natalie Baillargeon sits at a desk, speaking to someone out of frame while holding a pencil

photo by Eric Lee

Natalie Baillargeon works with the Government Relations team, supporting Woodwell Climate’s policy analysis and government relations. She manages and contributes to various projects, including identifying opportunities for climate policy in the 2023 Farm Bill, improving climate resilience in the National Flood Insurance Program, and accounting for permafrost emissions in global carbon budgets.

Twenty environmental leaders have been chosen as 2024 recipients of the Switzer Environmental Fellowship, a program of the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation that awards graduate students a $17,000 cash award and leadership training to support their education and career development at 12 universities in New England and California. The 20 fellowships total $340,000 in awards.

During their fellowship year, Switzer Fellows cultivate their personal leadership skills toward advancing social equity, build relationships, and expand their networks through shared learning and professional development activities. Switzer Fellows receive support throughout their careers to pursue interdisciplinary and collaborative work, positioning them for leadership in the nonprofit, government, philanthropic, private, and academic sectors. The competitive fellowships are awarded based on leadership potential and commitment to environmental problem-solving. Switzer Fellows demonstrate innovation and collaboration, as well as commitment to advance social equity as a fundamental part of their environmental work. The 2024 Switzer Fellows join a network of over 750 Switzer Fellows working across the United States and around the world.

“The Switzer Foundation believes that talented and committed individuals can make change in the world, and we invest in supporting their continued leadership and professional development,” says Executive Director, Sarah Reed. “As lifelong members of the Switzer Network, the new fellows will be able to increase their impact as environmental leaders through shared learning, collaboration, and mutual support. We are thrilled to welcome these environmental and social change-makers to our community as 2024 Switzer Fellows.”

Robert and Patricia Switzer established the foundation with a belief in the power of individuals to make positive change in the world, and to support and encourage people dedicated to solving applied environmental problems. The 2024 Switzer Fellows come from diverse social, academic, and economic backgrounds and bring an impressive breadth of expertise on topics including agriculture, agroecology, avian ecology, environmental justice, environmental policy, environmental remediation, food systems & access, forestry, holistic land management, housing decarbonization, public health, renewable energy, tribal sovereignty, and urban planning. More information about the 2024 Switzer Fellows, and links to their profiles, is available on the foundation website.

The Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation identifies and nurtures environmental leaders to create positive environmental change. The foundation awards academic fellowships and project grants, sponsors professional development activities, and fosters a vibrant network of more than 700 Switzer Fellows who are environmental and social change leaders working across academia, non-profits, government, philanthropy, and the private sector. For more information, see the foundation website.