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This post is long overdue in many ways – the EFC has had lots of big changes over the past year and a half – but is also well timed as it offers a chance to showcase the EFC’s new website and introduce some staff members who have joined the team this past year.

Image of the front page of the EFC's new websiteThe front page of the new Environmental Finance Center website.

The new EFC website is now live and offers an opportunity to read the EFC blog, interact with one of the EFC’s state water and wastewater rates’ dashboards, or download one of the EFC’s recent written resources or interactive financial decision-making tools. Check it out and let the EFC know what you think!

Throughout 2020, the EFC continued its strong work in water sector finance issues and opportunities. With projects addressing affordability, regionalization, nutrient management, the financial impacts of Covid on water utilities, resilience, integrated planning, capacity development, and many more, the EFC continued to stay relevant and develop new resources and tools to help state and local governments nationwide.

Looking ahead, the EFC would like to increase our engagement on issues of equity and foster new partnerships. The EFC is building its expertise of new federal infrastructure funding and hoping to continue growing relationships with the state agencies that administer State Revolving Funds. The EFC is also identifying opportunities to bring in more cross-sector work with a focus on long-term resiliency incorporating all aspects of resilience – physical, social, and financial. Specifically, the EFC is looking at financing options related to flood mitigation, decarbonization, innovative stormwater finance and capacity building, and opportunities to increase green space and improve water quality in disadvantaged communities.

Ifographic depicting the life cycle of the environmental impact bondThe Environmental Finance Center is expanding engagement on

issues of equity and fostering new partnerships.

The EFC team is as strong as ever with an inter-disciplinary staff of project directors and project managers who engage with clients, mentor students, teach classes, lead workshops and webinars, develop new interactive tools and written resources, and continuously expand their knowledge of the field of environmental finance in order to take on any project that comes their way. Check out the current staff of the EFC to see what interesting areas of expertise they offer! Additionally, in the spring of 2021, the EFC hired a Deputy Director, Christy Ihlo, who has jumped right in with grace and lots of energy. She is definitely worth getting to know as you work with the EFC in the future!

Visit our staff page to learn more about the Environmental Finance team.

Finally, let me break with the tradition of using third person and introduce myself as the new director of the EFC. As many of you know, Jeff Hughes was appointed to the North Carolina Utilities Commission in 2019 and left the EFC late that year after providing nearly 20 years of leadership. After a somewhat long search, I stepped up as the Director in April of 2020. I started with the EFC when I was a law student at UNC in 2011. After graduating, I took a few years to explore my options as an attorney and then found my way back to the EFC in early 2016. I am excited to be in this new role and to bring my vision, energy, and expertise to the EFC as it continues to grow and change. I couldn’t be prouder of the EFC team and the work we have accomplished. I look forward to seeing where we go in the years ahead!

One Response to “EFC 2021: The same strong center that has been around for more than two decades, but with new staff and new visions for the next decade.”

  1. Jeff Hughes

    Erin and team — great blog post and new website! I’m pleased to report that I wasted little time after I left the EFC to begin my new relationship with the EFC as a beneficiary of its research and other services. I’ve already had the pleasure of working with the new staff and tapping into their expertise in my new role and I look forward to all the great work that I’m sure will come out of the Center for years to come.
    Jeff Hughes


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