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Multidisciplinary Team

The multidisciplinary team of staff and students offer experience and expertise across a diverse range of areas. We are formally trained as public administrators, engineers, planners, attorneys, finance/business specialists, economists, policy specialists, information and data scientists, environmental scientists, and more.

Staff

image of Erin Riggs

Erin Riggs

Executive Director

Erin Riggs is the Executive Director of the EFC and conducts applied research surrounding legal, policy, and accounting framework that influences environmental finance issues around the country. She graduated from the University of Florida’s Levin … Continued

Email address for Erin Riggs riggs@sog.unc.edu
Phone number for Erin Riggs 919-966-3126

image of Christy Ihlo

Christy Ihlo

Deputy Director

Christy Ihlo joined the EFC as the Deputy Director in 2021, overseeing the daily operations of the Center. She brings a diverse background including program management, monitoring and evaluation, technical report writing, spatial analysis, and … Continued

Email address for Christy Ihlo cihlo@sog.unc.edu
Phone number for Christy Ihlo 919-966-1040

image of Julia Cavalier

Julia Cavalier

Research Director

Julia Cavalier joined the Environmental Finance Center in 2018. Prior to joining the EFC, Julia had 15 years of experience in the water sector and 13 of those years spent with the Public Water Supply … Continued

Email address for Julia Cavalier cavalier@sog.unc.edu
Phone number for Julia Cavalier 919-962-0716

image of Tom Roberts

Tom Roberts

Senior Business Analyst

Tom Roberts is the Senior Business Analyst for the EFC at UNC. Tom has an Associate in Applied Sciences in Civil Engineering Technology from Delaware Technical and Community College and a Bachelor of Science in … Continued

Email address for Tom Roberts tom_roberts@sog.unc.edu
Phone number for Tom Roberts 919-455-5647

Tenika McMillan

Assistant Director

Tenika McMillan joined the EFC as an Assistant Director in July 2022. She focuses on providing personnel management, as well as researching barriers and solutions to increasing water service connections in underserved areas. She brings … Continued

Email address for Tenika McMillan tmcmillan@sog.unc.edu
Phone number for Tenika McMillan +1 (919) 966-4415

Anna Patterson

Project Director

Anna Patterson Joined the EFC as a Project Director in June 2022. She is focusing her work on helping communities and water utilities improve their environmental health and financial resilience. She brings experience in stormwater … Continued

Email address for Anna Patterson anna.patterson@sog.unc.edu
Phone number for Anna Patterson +1 (919) 966-4332

Hope Thomson

Project Director

Hope Thomson joined the EFC as a project director in April 2022. She focuses on providing technical assistance to utilities, as well as researching barriers and solutions to increasing water service connections in underserved areas. … Continued

Email address for Hope Thomson hope.thomson@sog.unc.edu
Phone number for Hope Thomson 919-962-8273

Andrew Waters

Project Director

Andrew Waters comes to the Environmental Finance Center as a project director after working in the nonprofit land conservation field for fifteen years. An undergraduate at UNC Chapel Hill, Andrew received an MBA from UNC … Continued

Email address for Andrew Waters abwaters@unc.edu
Phone number for Andrew Waters +1 (919) 962-2785

Ahmed Rachid El-Khattabi

Research Specialist

Ahmed Rachid El-Khattabi is an applied economist and urban planner with methods expertise in policy-oriented quantitative research and data management. El-Khattabi holds a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina … Continued

Email address for Ahmed Rachid El-Khattabi arelkhattabi@sog.unc.edu

Megan Doherty

Project Analyst

Megan Doherty joined the EFC in September 2022. She graduated from UNC in May 2022 with a Bachelors of Science in Biology, and minors in Chemistry, Environmental Science, and Mandarin Chinese. As a student, she … Continued

Email address for Megan Doherty dohertymegan111@gmail.com

image of Austin Thompson

Austin Thompson

PhD Research Assistant

Austin Thompson joined the EFC at UNC in 2018 as a Project Director. In this role, she conducted applied research and provides technical assistance and training for environmental service providers. Thompson holds a BS in … Continued

Email address for Austin Thompson thompson@sog.unc.edu

Kathryn Obenshain

Project Analyst

Kathryn Obenshain joined the EFC staff in July 2022. Kathryn graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in May 2022 with degrees in Environmental Studies and German Literature and Culture. As a student, she worked at the … Continued

Email address for Kathryn Obenshain kik@live.unc.edu

Emma Copenhaver

Project Analyst

Emma Copenhaver joined the EFC in December 2022. A recent UNC alum, she graduated in December 2022 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a minor in Chemistry. As a student, she focused her … Continued

Email address for Emma Copenhaver ecopenhaver@sog.unc.edu

Paul Ruback

Project Analyst

Paul Ruback joined the EFC staff in November 2022. Paul graduated from UC Berkeley in May 2021 with a degree in Conservation and Resource Studies. As a student, he worked as an undergraduate researcher. When … Continued

Email address for Paul Ruback paulruback@sog.unc.edu