Elizabeth Kennedy joined the Rainforest Alliance in January 2010, and serves as director of Evaluation and Research. She leads the overall vision, design and implementation of Rainforest Alliance’s assessment framework policies and procedures to promote learning, adaptive management and demonstrate the organization’s biodiversity and livelihood impacts.
Elizabeth has worked in biodiversity conservation for more than 30 years as a field biologist, academic scientist, consultant to the World Bank and IUCN, educator and evaluation specialist for conservation NGOs. She is a generalist in the field of conservation and sustainable development, with a B.A. in Biological Sciences from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale, an M.S. in Agricultural and Applied Economics from Clemson University, and a Ph.D. in Forest Science from Texas A&M University. Her international research experience covers a range of interdisciplinary themes including defining critical habitat requirements for endangered species, development of economic incentives and payments for ecosystem services, program evaluation methods and understanding socioeconomic and ecological risks of agriculture and forestry operations in fragile ecosystems. Elizabeth has a diverse peer review and technical publication record; she has convened several international conferences and symposia focused on evaluating biodiversity conservation projects and programs and has served on a number of international committees dedicated to improving evaluation methods for sustainable development program delivery.