Mark B. Milstein

Mark B. Milstein

  • Clinical Professor
  • Academic Director, Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise

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Faculty Expertise

  • Sustainability
  • Management
  • Tourism
  • Innovation
  • Finance
  • Strategy
  • Leadership


Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management


Cornell Directory Entry


Dr. Mark 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 Rockefeller 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 100 firms across a range of industries, including renewable energy and carbon markets, life sciences and sustainable agriculture, consumables, food and nutrition, health care, tourism 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, and Cornell's Senior Leadership Climate Action Group.

Milstein's writings have appeared in Science, Academy of Management Executive, Sloan Management Review, PLOS-ONE, 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 and as a board member for Johnson & Johnson's Earthwards Program.

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.

Recent Courses

  • NBA 5979 - Environmental Finance & Impact Investing Practicum
  • NBA 6380 - Finance and Sustainable Global Enterprise Colloquium
  • NBA 6190 - Leaders in Sustainable Global Enterprise
  • NBAB 6030 - Strategies for Sustainability
  • NBA 6030 - Strategies for Sustainability
  • NBA 6585 - Sustainable Global Enterprise in Practice
  • NBA 6580 - Sustainable Global Enterprise Practicum Project

Academic Degrees

  • PhD Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 2004
  • MS School of Natural Resources & Environment, University of Michigan, 1997
  • MBA Business School, University of Michigan, 1997
  • BA College of Literature, Science & Arts, University of Michigan, 1990