About the Wyss Foundation


The Wyss Foundation is a private, charitable foundation dedicated to supporting innovative, lasting solutions that improve lives, empower communities, and strengthen connections to the land. The Foundation is headquartered in Washington, DC in a restored historic building that houses its offices and rents space to several other non-profits.

Climbing and hiking the Rocky Mountains as a young man, Hansjörg Wyss developed a lifelong love for America’s open lands and a passion for discovery and innovation.  After a successful career in life-saving medical science, Mr. Wyss created the Wyss Foundation in 1998 to help ensure that the iconic Western landscapes that inspired him are protected for everyone to experience and explore.  Today, the Wyss Foundation’s philanthropy supports projects in areas from conservation and education to economic opportunity and social justice.  Each philanthropic investment seeks to encourage new ideas and new solutions that expand the reach of human possibility and compassion.

The Wyss Foundation’s grantmaking is by invitation only.

“This is about neighbors and communities coming together to protect an iconic Western landscape, so the Wyoming Range will always remain open for everyone to hunt, fish, hike, and explore.”

Hansjörg Wyss, on the protection of Wyoming's Hoback Basin


Hansjörg Wyss

Hansjorg Wyss

Working for the Colorado Highway Department as a student in 1958, Hansjörg Wyss developed a lifelong love for America’s national parks and public lands.  In particular, he grew to admire a uniquely American idea: that a nation’s iconic landscapes should be protected for everyone to experience and explore.

A native of Switzerland who now lives in Wilson, Wyoming, Mr. Wyss' first experiences in the West drew him back to the United States to attend the Harvard Business School, from which he graduated in 1965.  With his American education and passion for discovery, he started a successful medical research and design company, headquartered in West Chester, Pennsylvania, whose products have helped millions of patients recover from skeletal and soft tissue trauma and injuries.

Grateful for the opportunities the United States, its lands, and the world have afforded him, Mr. Wyss believes he has a duty to repay his good fortune through philanthropic endeavors that expand the reach of human possibility and compassion.  Practical and innovative by nature, Mr. Wyss’ philanthropy fosters new ideas, new tools, and new collaborations in areas from medicine, education and the arts to economic opportunity, conflict resolution, and land conservation.