Lyda Hill Foundation


donor profile

Lyda Hill wants to have a lasting, world-changing impact through her philanthropic contributions. Her foundation’s successful and effective partnerships with Pew can be largely attributed to a shared methodology. Lyda’s giving style is driven by the simple premise of solving big problems with a systematic, sound, and science-based approach, perfectly aligning with the pragmatic, focused strategy Pew takes with all of its projects.

Lyda has always had an interest in the life sciences, which was only heightened after she survived breast cancer and decided that her foundation would seek to advance knowledge in the sciences and environment. Her relationship with Pew began when the Lyda Hill Foundation became a partner in Global Ocean Legacy, a group of funders that work together to create protected marine parks in the seas. Global Ocean Legacy allows measurable results, an aspect of giving that is important to Lyda, and was a determining factor behind her decision to expand her collaboration with Pew. She has since become a major contributor to Pew’s work in the Arctic and its efforts to end illegal fishing, helping support efforts to enhance monitoring and policy enforcement. Her interest in advancing science has also led her to support Pew’s work to support new antibiotics development and improve the efficiency of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s ability to promote safe and effective medical treatments and advance drug and medical device innovation. She’s also involved in Pew’s campaign to implement a food safety law enacted in 2010 that is intended to prevent foodborne illnesses.


With all of her investments at Pew, Lyda has embraced the opportunity to leverage the talents of Pew’s researchers, advocacy experts, and strategists to fulfill her philanthropic objectives. “I like working with Pew. They see a problem, identify what can be done about it, and can tell you what the measures of success are,” she says. “It is a lot easier when I’m not starting from scratch. The FDA and the ocean reserves—you know something needs to be done, but it’s hard to define. Pew puts definitions on them.”

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