Sara J. Scherr

Dr. Sara J. Scherr, an agricultural and resource economist, is a prominent voice globally in promoting the restoration of degraded lands. She founded the nonprofit EcoAgriculture Partners in 2002 to promote locally-led agricultural landscape transformation for food security, rural livelihoods and ecosystem services.

A leading innovator in agricultural landscape analysis, planning, policy and finance, she has supported landscape partnerships in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the U.S. and advised landscape programs worldwide. In 2011, she co-founded the global network “Landscapes for People, Food and Nature,” and in 2019 launched and now chairs the global collaborative “1000 Landscapes for 1 Billion People” to accelerate landscape regeneration worldwide. Sara serves on the Boards of Bioversity International-USA and Solutions from the Land and is a Fellow of the Evergreening Alliance. She also serves on numerous editorial and advisory boards, including those of Commonland and Food Tank, and is a member of the UN Food Systems Summit Action Track on Nature-Positive Production and co-lead for its Governance Action Area. Her research is widely published in scientific and policy literature.

She previously served as director of ecosystem services at the nonprofit Forest Trends, senior researcher at the International Food Policy Research Institute, adjunct professor at the University of Maryland, and principal researcher and later board member of the World Agroforestry Centre. In addition, she served on the Millennium Project’s Hunger Task Force to develop strategies to halve the incidence of hunger worldwide. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in international economics and development from Cornell University and her B.A. in economics from Wellesley College.