Rana Bayrakçısmith joined Panthera in 2011 as the Snow Leopard Program Manager. She received her Master of Environmental Studies degree from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington while working as zoo keeper. For her Master’s thesis, Rana conducted field research with the US Forest Service on one of the three remaining populations of the Washington-state threatened western gray squirrel and went on to petition the Endangered Species Act to list these populations. Rana worked for many years as a zoo keeper with Asian bears, snow leopards and a wide variety of other species. She also worked as the Program Coordinator for the Snow Leopard Network, an international organization of over 400 members dedicated to exchanging information for snow leopard conservation; and has also worked as the Research and Conservation Coordinator for the Snow Leopard Trust.