Hello! My name is Ahmed Rachid El-Khattabi, I go by AR. I am an applied environmental economist and urban planner with expertise in policy-oriented quantitative research and data management. I research issues at the intersection of economic development and environmental planning with a particular focus on urban water demand management. This includes research on topics such as innovation, pricing, affordability, financial stability, and governance.
I am currently the Associate Director for Research & Data at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Environmental Finance Center (UNC EFC), a non-profit organization that assists government & other organizations in their efforts to provide environmental programs in financially sustainable ways. My role primarily consists of supporting EFC's services through the advancement of UNC EFC's research, the design and maintenance of the UNC EFC's data infrastructure, and the creation of interactive web tools.
Prior to starting my current position at UNC EFC, I worked at the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) in the Office of Water, first as an ORISE postdoctoral fellow in the Office of Science and Technology's Engineering and Analysis Division (OW-OST-EAD), then as an Economist in the Water Economics Center (OW-WEC). At US EPA, my research largely involved the use of non-market valuation techniques to estimate benefits. I also worked on topics related to environmental justice. Notably, I co-developed an environmental justice batch screening tool (EJSCREENbatch), contributed to the development of support tools for regulatory benefits analyses, and conducted research to support national rulemaking related to Waters of the United States.
I earned my Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from the Department of City and Regional Planning. During my time at UNC, I received the UNC Impact Award for Outstanding Graduate Research in 2016 for my work through the Center for Community Capital (CCC) related to affordable housing for low and middle income households and again in 2019 for my work on water management in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. As a graduate student at UNC, I worked as an analyst at UNC EFC, a research assistant in the the Department of Economics, and as a student scholar at SAS Institute. Prior to graduate school, I was a research assistant at the Center for Primary Care Outcomes Research (PCOR) at Stanford University.
Listen to a webinar. In April 2020, I presented my dissertation research as a webinar for Global Water Works.
Watch an interview of me. In December 2018, I attended the Atlantic Dialogues conference, hosted by the Policy Center for New South, as part of the Atlantic Dialogues Emerging Leaders program.