Jeffrey Milder

Chief Scientist

Jeffrey Milder is the Rainforest Alliance’s chief scientist and lead advisor for biodiversity and ecosystem conservation.

He works to incorporate best available scientific evidence into the organization’s sustainability standards, programs, and overall strategy. He also leads the Evaluation & Research team, which is responsible for monitoring and evaluating the effects of the Rainforest Alliance’s certification programs and field projects on people and the environment. Milder serves on numerous scientific and policy working groups on sustainability standards and evaluation, including the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) International Standards Committee, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Ecosystem Services Procedure working group, and evaluation and research initiatives of the ISEAL Alliance, WWF, and others.

Prior to joining the Rainforest Alliance, Milder served as the director of research for EcoAgriculture Partners and has also advised governments and conservation organizations on sustainable development initiatives in North America, Latin America, and Africa. His research has focused on the evaluation of sustainability strategies including voluntary certification standards, integrated landscape management, payments for ecosystem services, and silvopastoralism (diversified cattle-crop-tree farming systems). He has published widely, including in leading scientific journals such as NatureConservation Biology,BioScienceBiological ConservationEcology & Society, and the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability.

Milder earned Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Natural Resources from Cornell University and a B.A. in Earth Sciences from Harvard University. He has held research posts at Cornell University, Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE) and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.



As forests disappear, countless species are threatened with extinction.