Headshot, Rane Cortez
Rane Cortez Headshot, Rane Cortez © Erich Schlegel

Our People

Rane Cortez

Director, Conservation in Partnership with Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities

Minneapolis, MN

  • Areas of Expertise

    Indigenous peoples and local communities, climate change, REDD+, integrated landscapes

Biography

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.

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