Ross McMillan

Ross  McMillan
Associate Fellow
Ross McMillan is a consultant based in Vancouver, Canada, with a diverse background in public service and philanthropy. He served as CEO of Tides Canada Foundation, a national public foundation focused on the environment and social justice, from 2007 to 2019. Ross started his career in the public service, with positions at the City of Vancouver, Government of the Northwest Territories, and Government of Canada. He also worked with the Government of British Columbia, where he held a number of posts, including Assistant Deputy Minister, Treaty Negotiations with the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs and Special Advisor to the Cabinet Committee on Aboriginal Land Claims and Self-Government.

Ross has significant practical experience in conservation planning and collaborative decisionmaking.

He was a founding co-chair of the Clayoquot Sound Central Region Board, the British Columbia government's first significant collaborative resource management partnership with Indigenous peoples. He subsequently led the nomination development and intergovernmental and community engagement processes that established Clayoquot Sound as British Columbia's first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and launched the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust in 2000.

As part of the effort to help protect British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest, Ross represented philanthropic parties as a key architect of the $120 million conservation financing agreement in 2007 that created Coast Funds, two linked organizations that support Indigenous stewardship initiatives and sustainable economic development tied to conservation outcomes. He has served as a private funder member of the Coast Funds institutions since 2007.

Ross’ recent work has focused on supporting Indigenous and community interests and NGOs in large scale conservation programs and conservation financing initiatives in Ecuador, Peru, Botswana, and Indonesia, as well as reconciliation, collaborative decision-making, and conservation in Canada.

Ross holds a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology (UVIC) and M.A. in Planning (UBC).