Cultivating future generations of inventors to create a better world
The Lemelson Foundation was established by Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson in 1992 with the vision of cultivating future generations of inventors to create a better world. After twenty-five years of giving, the Foundation continues to be led by the Lemelson family. To date we have provided more than $300 million in support of our mission.
It all started with one man’s creative spirit and a passion for problem-solving.
We honor the life and impact of Dorothy (Dolly) Lemelson, the Foundation’s co-founder and former President and Board Chair. Mrs. Lemelson was a businesswoman and passionate supporter of the Portland arts scene, as well as initiatives that helped underserved populations, at-risk youth, and teachers in public schools in Oregon and Nevada.
Twenty-five years of programming to celebrate and cultivate inventors and inventions that improve lives.
My wife Dorothy and I know what it takes to be a successful inventor: creativity, vision and perseverance.
— Jerome “Jerry” Lemelson
All his life, Jerry wanted to celebrate American invention. He felt it was what made this country strong. Now it’s time to turn to the rest of the world, to join with others to solve some of the most pressing problems of our global community.
— Dorothy Lemelson
Jerry Lemelson wanted Americans to understand and appreciate the contributions of inventors whose work leads to technologies that improve our lives. Above all, he wanted young people to experience the spark of insight and creativity that forms the core of the invention process.
— Eric Lemelson
Jerry saw the world essentially as a series of problems to be solved, that there were things that didn’t work as well, they should work better. They should work more efficiently, they should be safer. All he thought about was inventing.
— Robert Lemelson
Inventing was Jerry’s heart and soul. He was so prolific that it seemed every day he would come up with something else.
The Lemelson Foundation team includes our Staff, led by Executive Director Rob Schneider; our Board, led by the Lemelson family; and our Advisory Committee, comprised of leaders in education, entrepreneurship, technology, media and philanthropy.
The Lemelson Foundation's Advisory Committee provides ongoing strategic advice on the development and implementation of its programs. The Advisory Committee possesses a diversity of expertise across geographical regions and public, private and non-profit sectors.