Aurelio Ramos oversees the regional strategy programs and works with external partners and funders to fuel innovation and scale up top priorities in the Latin America region.
Aurelio began his career with TNC in 2003 as the Director of the Northern Tropical Andes Conservation Program. In this role he directed and worked with his team in pioneering innovative, incentive-based conservation financing strategies across the Andean landscapes of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. One of the major outputs of this work was the design and the development of the Water Funds model, a concept that has rapidly spread across Latin America through the creation of 32 water funds by its pillars of valuing of nature and improving watershed governance. In 2009, Aurelio became the Deputy of Conservation for the Latin America Region at TNC, taking the concept of incentive-based conservation to a regional scale. Under his leadership, the Latin America Water Fund Partnership was launched by The Nature Conservancy, the FEMSA Foundation, the Inter-American Bank, and the Global Environmental Facility. In 2015, Aurelio became Regional Managing Director of Latin America, where he led over 350 employees in 14 different countries to conserve the lands and waters in which all life depends.
In addition to his work in Latin America, Aurelio spent a year as a Senior Advisor to TNC’s Washington State Chapter to assist in designing the Emerald Edge, a sustainable forestry and resource management project in the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest, extending from the Washington Coasts to the Tongass National Forest. Among his many achievements at The Nature Conservancy, Aurelio was given the Conservancy Lesley Freshwater Award in 2011.
Prior to joining the Conservancy, Aurelio worked for the Latin American Development Bank CAF, the Biotrade Program of the United Nations Conference of Trade and Commerce UNCTAD, as well as the Humboldt Biological Research Institute. In 2001 he was named one of the top entrepreneurs in Colombia by the financial magazine Revista Dinero for his work in creating a biotrade program in the Andean countries which combined business practices with the sustainable use of biodiversity.
Aurelio earned a Master’s Degree in Environmental Economics and Natural Resources from the University of Maryland and the Universidad de los Andes, and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Colombia’s Universidad de los Andes. He is also a graduate from Armand Hammer United World College as well as attended environmental graduate studies in Oslo University, Norway.
Aurelio currently lives in Miami, Florida, with his wife Maria Angelica, daughter Letizia, and son Alejandro.