Dr. Milstein is Clinical Professor of Management and director of the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. He conducts applied research in and oversees the Center’s work on market and enterprise creation; business development; clean technology commercialization; and sustainable finance.
Dr. Milstein specializes in framing the world’s social and environmental challenges as unmet market needs which can be addressed effectively by the private sector through innovation and entrepreneurship, thereby allowing companies to achieve financial success by creatively addressing problems such as climate change, ecosystem degradation, and poverty. He has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the S.C. Johnson Foundation, SEvEN, the World Bank, the University of Queensland, and the Water Resources Institute. Over the past decade, Milstein has worked with more than 90 firms across a range of industries, including renewable energy and carbon markets, life sciences and sustainable agriculture, consumables, food and nutrition, health care and hospitality management, as well as finance and international development.
At Cornell, Milstein serves on Cornell’s Academic Programs and Policies Committee (CAPP), the faculty advisory board of Cornell’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, the advisory board for Engaged Learning + Research at Cornell, Cornell’s Public Engagement Council, the University’s Regional Economic Advancement Operations Committee, as well as Cornell’s Senior Leadership Climate Action Group.
Milstein's writings have appeared in Science, Academy of Management Executive, Sloan Management Review, FACTS, Case Research Journal, Environmental Finance, and Value, as well as various edited books. He is an award-winning author of several popular teaching cases.
Milstein has taught strategy, innovation, and sustainable enterprise to undergraduates, MBAs, and executives in the U.S., Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Milstein specializes in teaching experiential and engaged learning courses that provide students the opportunity to apply strategy, decision making, and critical thinking skills to business development, technology commercialization, and innovation in the context of sustainability.
Milstein’s work and perspectives have been featured in the New York Times, MSNBC, CNBC, Forbes, The Guardian, and GreenBiz. He is a frequent speaker on the topics of strategy, organizational change, and innovation related to business and sustainability. He also consults with a number of multinational firms, small- and medium-sized enterprises, and NGOs. He currently serves on the board of directors of Livelihood Basix International, as a board member for Johnson & Johnson’s Earthwards Program, and as an external reviewer for Caterpillar.
Previously, Dr. Milstein was the business research director for the Sustainable Enterprise Program at the World Resources Institute (WRI), a non-profit, non-partisan think tank located in Washington, D.C. where, he oversaw a number of projects and initiatives in the U.S., Latin America, and China related to strategy and innovation in the private sector. He also served on the faculty of the Kenan-Flagler Business School at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he directed research and strategy for the school's Center for Sustainable Enterprise.
Milstein earned a BA in economics and Japanese from the University of Michigan. He later earned both an MBA in general management and an MS in natural resource policy from the University of Michigan's dual-degree Corporate Environmental Management (now Erb) Program. He received his PhD in strategic management from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.