Dr. Scherr is an agricultural and natural resource economist specializing in land management policy in tropical developing countries. She has been a prominent voice globally in promoting the restoration of degraded agricultural lands for food security and rural livelihoods, and is a leading innovator in integrated landscape management. She is an expert in the economics of sustainable agriculture and agroforestry and the design of payments to farmers and farming communities for ecosystem stewardship. She founded EcoAgriculture Partners in 2002, and in 2011 co-founded the global Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative, which she now chairs.
She serves on the U.S. board of the international agricultural biodiversity research organization Bioversity International, on the advisory boards of Food Tank, the Platform for Agrobiodiversity Research, and the UN Agri-food Task Force, and on the board of U.S. non-profit Solutions from the Land. Dr. Scherr is widely published in the scientific and policy literature, and is a member of the scientific editorial boards of the journals Agroforestry Systems, International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, and Land Use Policy. She has co-developed and led agricultural landscape leadership courses in Latin America and Africa, and taught for a decade in the prestigious Berkeley Environmental Leadership Program professional short course. From 2002 to 2005 she was a member of the Millennium Project Hunger Task Force.
Before founding EcoAgriculture Partners, she served as Director of Ecosystem Services at Forest Trends; as adjunct professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, USA; co-leader of the CGIAR Gender Program; senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, D.C., and as a principal researcher and later on the Board of the World Agroforestry Centre.
Dr. Scherr received her BA in Economics at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, and her MSc and PhD in International Economics and Development at Cornell University in New York. She was a Fulbright Scholar (1976) and a Rockefeller Social Science Fellow (1985-87).