Cortney is the Senior Regional Director for the Northeast office, based in New York City.
Cortney joined NPCA in 2014 and leads NPCA’s Northeast operations overseeing several programs and campaigns. She led the two-year campaign for a national park for the area surrounding Stonewall Inn. This area of Greenwich Village, New York City, is the site of the 1969 uprisings that sparked the modern LGBT civil rights movement. Under her leadership the Stonewall National Monument was designated by President Obama in June 2016. She continues to lead NPCA’s partnership with the National Park Service to develop the park unit.
Cortney oversees NPCA’s initiatives to improve and protect the New Jersey portion of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Gateway National Recreation Area and other national park units of the New Jersey, New York, Maine, and New England region.
Cortney spearheads efforts to increase the quality of partnerships between Northeast national parks and their partnership organizations, launching the Northeast Friends Group Convention in 2015, now held every October. Cortney works to improve NPCA’s connection to millennials and members of the communities surrounding Gateway National Recreation Area, leading to hundreds of new park supporters and advocates joining NPCA’s Northeast initiatives.
Cortney came to NPCA from the Waterfront Alliance. As chief operating officer, she established a hallmark program to reform New York City’s waterfront permitting system, developed waterfront policy for the award-winning New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, launched the development of award winning waterfront edge design guidelines for the New York-New Jersey Harbor, and oversaw the tripling in size of the Alliance’s staff and its board.
Cortney has worked in the environmental field for more than 20 years. She began her career as an environmental specialist in state and federal storm water regulations, eventually working with municipal governments on stormwater compliance and watershed planning. After moving to New York City, she served as executive director of a small nonprofit, developing beach clean-up programs at Gateway National Recreation Area’s Jamaica Bay and starting the first public fishing programs using large nets on the beach under the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn.
Cortney holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental policy from Mount Holyoke College and a master’s degree in public administration and environmental policy from Columbia University. She serves on the board of Fireboat John J. Harvey. She is a swimmer and triathlete, and mom to two teenage girls.