Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Rane Cortez is the Director of the Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities team. Prior to that, Rane was the Chief of Party of the Mexico REDD+ Program, a six-year, multi-organization initiative to support the Mexican Government and local communities to put in place policy and practice necessary to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+).
Ms. Cortez is a recognized expert in reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. She has experience leading community forest management projects with indigenous Mayan communities in Guatemala and supporting a large-scale program to reduce deforestation in Brazil. Additionally, Rane led the development and implementation of an international REDD+ capacity building initiative among five major NGOs that provided trainings and capacity building materials to practitioners around the world, and created a widely-used online course on REDD+. Finally, Rane has extensive experience working on REDD+ policy and the major issues related to the design, development, and implementation of large-scale REDD+ programs and has led TNC’s work on international REDD+ policy, including defining TNC’s policy positions on the principle elements of REDD+, creating a successful coalition of more than ten major international NGOs that continues to work together on joint advocacy on international REDD+ policy, and leading outreach to multiple countries to help shape their positions on international REDD+ policy.
Prior to TNC, Rane was a Peace Corps Volunteer working with communities in the Western Highlands of Guatemala to protect and restore their forests. Rane has a Master’s Degree in Environmental Policy from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science from Northwestern University. She is fluent in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.