Leslie Ratley-Beach joined The Land Trust Alliance as its first Conservation Defense Director in August 2007. Leslie led the effort that created the first national conservation defense liability insurance program (Terrafirma Risk Retention Group LLC) and she continues to coordinate the delivery of services to Terrafirma as well as leading the Alliance’s conservation defense center and directing the Conservation Defense Network of national conservation experts. She has authored articles, national newsletters, numerous case studies and fact sheets, and an Alliance curriculum. Previously, Leslie worked with the Vermont Land Trust for almost 13 years. Leslie speaks on conservation nationally, leading symposia, webinars, workshops and seminars. Leslie has a law degree from Boston University and practiced real estate law for nine years in Boston before joining the Vermont Land Trust in 1994. Leslie has bachelor’s degrees from University of Oregon in journalism and political science and is a native of the Cascade Mountain region of California.