Skip to main content

Our Multidisciplinary Team

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

Staff

Ahmed Rachid El-Khattabi

Interim Executive Director

Dr. Ahmed Rachid (AR) El-Khattabi is the Interim Executive Director of the Environmental Finance Center (EFC) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His background is in applied economics and urban planning. He … Read more

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

image of Austin Thompson

Austin Thompson-Spain

Associate Director

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

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

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 … Read more

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

Tenika McMillan

Acting Assistant Director

Tenika McMillan joined the EFC as a Project 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 … Read more

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

Miguel Jackson

Strategic Outreach Director

Miguel Jackson joined the Environmental Finance Center (EFC) as the Strategic Outreach Director in July 2023. His focus is developing and executing strategic communications highlighting EFC’s efforts to municipalities, media members, the general public, and … Read more

Email address for Miguel Jackson miguel.jackson@sog.unc.edu

Alicea Easthope-Frazer

Project Director

Alicea Easthope-Frazer joined the EFC as a Project Director in March 2023. Alicea was most recently at The Aquaya Institute, in both program and operations roles over the years. Her career focus has been on … Read more

Email address for Alicea Easthope-Frazer aliceaef@sog.unc.edu

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 … Read more

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. … Read more

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

Melanie Sanchez

Project Director

Melanie rejoined the EFC in February of 2023. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.S. in statistics & analytics and a minor in geology. She has a unique … Read more

Email address for Melanie Sanchez msanchez@sog.unc.edu
Phone number for Melanie Sanchez 910-599-3743

Justin Nolan

Project Director

Justin Nolan joined the EFC as a Project Manager in May 2023. He completed his Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning in the spring of that same year. He comes to the EFC after … Read more

Email address for Justin Nolan jnolan@sog.unc.edu

Alicia James

Project Manager

Alicia James began working as a Project Director at the EFC at UNC in September 2023. Her experience includes program administration, policy, community participation, and public finance. Throughout her career, Alicia has led program and … Read more

Email address for Alicia James ajames@sog.unc.edu

Eva Ramirez-Flores

Data Specialist

Eva (she/her) graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in May 2021 with a B.S. in Environmental Science and continued her academic journey at Carolina, earning a Master’s in Information Science with a focus on environmental informatics. Throughout … Read more

Email address for Eva Ramirez-Flores everamif@live.unc.edu

Megan Doherty

Project Analyst

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

Email address for Megan Doherty mdoherty@sog.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 … Read more

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

Amanda Peele

Project Analyst

Amanda Peele joined the EFC in June 2023. She graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a B.A. in public policy and environmental studies & sustainability. As a student, she spent four years at UNC Public Policy … Read more

Email address for Amanda Peele apeele@sog.unc.edu