Lauren Ahkiam is the Senior Research & Policy Analyst on the Don’t Waste LA Project. She has a background in environmental justice, community planning and advocacy. Prior to joining LAANE in 2012, she worked at Pacoima Beautiful, a member-driven environmental health and justice non-profit. She led their research and policy work, such as on the waste industry’s over-concentration in the Northeast San Fernando Valley, and represented PB on the DWLA Coalition. She also led PB’s participatory planning, infrastructure advocacy, and popular education efforts. She has a master’s in Urban Planning from UCLA, where her research included equitable development, design and land use. Originally from the Lone Star state, she has fallen for LA’s residents, murals, palm trees, and tacos.