Ranae was born in Chuncheon, South Korea to parents Mi Ja Kim and Chester Bartlett. Her father served in the US Air Force as a communications operator during World War II and retired serving as a fire chief at Camp Page in South Korea. Ranae’s family moved to Arkansas when she was four.
Ranae earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law where she was a member of the Arkansas Law Review and a member of the National Moot Court team. Upon graduating from law school, she clerked for the Honorable Henry A. Politz, Chief Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Ranae graduated with high honors from the University of Central Arkansas, earning a Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in mathematics and political science.
Ranae and her family moved to Madison from Northwest Arkansas in 2003 where she worked for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. as Assistant General Counsel and Director of Risk Analysis and Security Resources. Upon moving to Alabama, she worked as a career law clerk to the Honorable C. Lynwood Smith, Jr., US District Judge for the Northern District of Alabama. She and her husband Todd have one son who graduated from Bob Jones High School and is currently attending the University of Alabama.
Ranae was appointed to the Madison Board of Education in June 2011 and was reappointed in 2016. She served as Vice-President from 2015-2017 and President from 2017-2020. In summer of 2020 she announced her candidacy for Madison City Council District 5.
Ranae is a graduate of Class 26 of Leadership Huntsville/Madison County. She is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Huntsville. Ranae also serves as Executive Director of the Madison City Chess League, a non-profit organization that promotes chess education in North Alabama. She also has served as coach for the six-time state champion Rainbow Elementary Chess Team and organizes chess programs for all Madison schools. During the pandemic, she accepted a position as Education Director for ChessKid.com to assist the surge of students going online to play chess. In that role Ranae trains educators and coaches around the world on how to utilize the ChessKid program to teach kids how to play chess.
Ranae received the Women of Distinction award from the Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama in 2013 and the All State School Board Member award from the Alabama Association of School Boards in 2020.
Ranae was elected to the Madison City Council in 2020. She currently serves on the Finance Committee and is the liaison to the Revenue Department, Legal, Municipal Court, and Chamber of Commerce. In April 2021, she was appointed as Madison's representative to the Huntsville Madison County Public Library Board.