Who We Are

Founded in 2005 by Robert Mercer, the Mercer Family Foundation is based in New York City. We provide annual grants to a range of scientific, cultural, educational, and policy institutions, as well as to groups that are devoted to individual rights and the well-being of veterans.

Our Mission

The mission and values of the Mercer Family Foundation are perhaps best expressed by Robert Mercer’s observation that individuals are happiest and most fulfilled when they form their own opinions, assume responsibility for their own actions, and spend the fruits of their own labor as they see fit.

It is the view of the Mercer Family Foundation that a collection of individuals making their own decisions within the confines of a clear and concise set of laws that they have determined for themselves will advance society much more effectively than will a collection of experts who are confident in their professed knowledge of what is best for everyone else. This is why we favor a smaller, less powerful government.

Our Vision

The Mercer Family Foundation is devoted to the defence of fundamental freedoms, particularly:

Additionally, the Mercer Family Foundation is deeply committed to research and the scientific method. We believe that genuine scientific discovery flourishes only in an atmosphere of dispassionate, open-minded inquiry, with research evaluated according to neutral, evidence-based criteria. We oppose politicized science, in which researchers cannot study certain subjects—or even ask certain questions—for fear of a career-ending backlash and persecution

Our Founder

Robert Mercer is one of the pioneers of computing and, in particular, of artificial intelligence. After receiving a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign in 1972, he worked for IBM Research, where he helped develop Brown clustering, a statistical machine translation technique.

In 1993, he joined Renaissance Technologies, a hedge fund, of which he became co-CEO in 2009. After 8 years as co-CEO he stepped down to devote himself more fully to research.