Cora Neumann is a public health leader and public lands expert with two decades of experience improving access to health care, expanding economic development, and protecting access to public lands.
When Cora was six months old, her father died from a lumber mill accident, caused by a lack of safety mechanisms. Cora didn’t understand it then, but her loss was an example of what can happen when we put corporate interests over workers. In addition, her father’s death demonstrated the challenges of rural healthcare – if they had had access to better care, her father may have lived.
Despite that hardship, Cora’s mother picked herself up and attended nursing school at MSU while working nights to take care of Cora and her older brother. When she was six years old, Cora’s stepfather - a union carpenter - came into her life. When times got hard in Bozeman, Cora watched him commute the long hours to Great Falls for work. Cora learned from them both what dedication to family, community, and hard work look like.
Cora took those values with her as she worked up to four jobs to pay for college, including as a union laborer and waitress, ultimately earning a Masters and Doctorate in Public Health and International Development from Columbia University and Oxford University (UK).
In 2009, Cora launched the Global First Ladies Alliance in partnership with the offices of First Ladies Laura Bush and Michelle Obama. The organization empowers first ladies around the world – including American first ladies and presidents from both parties – to stay accountable to hardworking families and use their power to do more for their constituents. Cora worked with more than 40 first ladies and presidents around the world to empower women and families, improve access to health care, promote economic development, education and more.
Cora then served at the State Department in the Economic Bureau, where she focused on job creation, economic diplomacy and women’s economic development. She advocated for access to parental leave and promoted women’s entrepreneurship across the globe.
Since 2015, as Founder and CEO of RESET, Cora has been working throughout the Rocky Mountains to bring together conservation leaders, ranchers, hunters, Native communities, and young people to collaborate on new ways to protect public lands. With support from Grand Canyon Trust, Patagonia, and others, RESET has launched major new advocacy efforts to protect Bears Ears National Monument, released a collaborative, bipartisan storytelling campaign, and organized a series of leadership workshops for Native women.
Cora lives with her family in Bozeman surrounded by four generations of family, from her grandmother and grandfather to her two children, Timea and Levi.