Ekta J. Patel

PhD Candidate, Environmental Policy, Duke University

Hi! I am a PhD candidate in environmental policy and politics at Duke University. My research interests include water supply governance, the politics of public service provision, and wildlife conservation. I am writing my dissertation project on global water norms, desalination, and the role of public and private stakeholders in its adoption decisions.

Prior to Duke, I worked at an education technology start-up and received a B.A. in Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard University. I was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya and now reside in Durham, NC.

Working Papers

Explaining local variation in water provision: Collective action capacity in Bengaluru. 2020

CITES: Governance and Power in Wildlife Trade. 2020

Scaling Back Wildlife Trade in the Mekong: A Look into the Farmer Loophole. 2019

Institutional Design, Decisionmaking, and California's Oil-Field Produced Water. 2019

Water Infrastructure and Situated Politics in Bengaluru. 2018

The Role of Religious Organizations in Urban Water Crises: A Case-Study on Cape Town. 2018

Untitled: Land Rights and Tenure Security in Urban Slums. 2017


Scaling Back Wildlife Trade in the Mekong Delta: Applying a Political Economy Lens to the Farmer Loophole with a Focus on Vietnam and Laos (with Edmund Malesky, Songkhun Nillasithanukroh, and Erika Weinthal), prepared for USAID, June 2019.