Washington, D.C.,
04:49 PM



The Lyda Hill Foundation today announced a $1,000,000 grant to the National Geographic Society dedicated to supporting female scientists and explorers. The news was shared with a surprised crowd at the 2018 National Geographic Explorers Festival in Washington, D.C., a celebration of exploration bringing together the most fascinating and innovative scientists, conservationists, explorers and storytellers to share — with one another and the world — how their discoveries and ideas are creating change for the better.

Presented from the Festival stage by Nicole Small, president of the Lyda Hill Foundation, the gift embodies Lyda Hill’s ongoing commitment to advancing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). This grant builds on the Foundation’s recent efforts to promote women making leading scientific breakthroughs; help them tell their stories; and inspire the next generation of world changers to consider STEM adventures and careers.

Young people need real professional STEM role models, and to see them excelling in their fields. If you can see it, you can be it, and we increase our chances of inspiring the next generation to change the world when we support and tell the stories of contemporary female explorers leading the way.
Nicole Small, president of the Lyda Hill Foundation
Lyda Hill is a wonderful friend and relentless supporter of National Geographic Explorers. Her gift will not only support women on the front lines of science and exploration, it will make a significant contribution to the Society’s “Expand the Field” efforts to advance women in exploration and to achieve our strategic ambition of a planet in balance.
Michael L. Ulica, interim president and CEO of the National Geographic Society

In a video message played after the announcement, Lyda Hill thanked National Geographic and all of its Explorers in the audience, saying: “It has been my pleasure to partner with National Geographic and many National Geographic Explorers over the years. I love science because I believe — in fact, I know — that science will solve many of our world’s most pressing problems, and it is all of you who are working day in and day out in the field to solve the challenges we face.”

The gift from the Lyda Hill Foundation will provide more than 60 female National Geographic Explorers much-needed capital and support — valued at up to $10,000 each — for trainings and networking activities that provide the training, tools and time to tell and share their stories. The Explorers will be able to use the funding to gain new skills in their fields, travel to and participate in conferences, take advantage of career-building opportunities, invest in professional development and cover family and dependent care costs.

In addition, the Lyda Hill Foundation will fund an exploration fellowship and grants to assist mid-career female Explorers advance and become leaders in their fields.

About the National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society is a leading nonprofit that invests in bold people and transformative ideas in the fields of exploration, scientific research, storytelling and education. Through our grants and programs, we aspire to create a community of change, advancing key insights about our planet and probing some of the most pressing scientific questions of our time while ensuring that the next generation is armed with geographic knowledge and global understanding. Our goal is measurable impact: furthering exploration and educating people around the world to inspire solutions for the greater good. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.org.


About Lyda Hill

Lyda Hill is a Dallas entrepreneur, philanthropist, and one of the few women to make the 2013 Philanthropy list of most generous donors and Forbes’ 2014 list of top 15 entrepreneurs who give back to the community. She is chairman of both LH Holdings, Inc., a private investment firm, and the Lyda Hill Foundation. Through her for-profit and not-for-profit investments, Miss Hill is committed to funding game-changing advances in science and nature, to empowering nonprofit organizations, and to improving the local communities of greatest importance to her, North Texas and Colorado Springs.