I am a PhD student in Stanford University's Department of Anthropology, where I study engineers, infrastructure, and the management of water in Mexico City. My research is broadly aimed at understanding the social context of engineering and the complex dynamics of infrastructures used to control the natural and built environments.
Prior to starting my PhD, I received a B.S.C.E. in Civil and Environmental Engineering and the B.A. in International Development at the University of Washington. After graduation, I worked professionally as an environmental engineer cleaning up toxic chemicals from land and water around my hometown of Seattle while volunteering as an organizer with low-wage Latino workers struggling against wage theft.
I have worked on international development projects (however problematic in retrospect) with Engineers Without Borders in Bolivia, published academic research on the shortcomings of foreign-funding for NGOs in Nicaragua, studied the Dari and Tajiki languages in Tajikistan, and traveled across ten countries in the global South after graduating, supported by a Bonderman travel fellowship offered through the University of Washington Honors Program.
Closer to home, I co-founded and facilitated a organization while at the University of Washington to create a critical dialogue around international development and engagement, and I continue to educate and write about global inequality. I devote much of my free time to working with grassroots community groups struggling for the rights of immigrants, workers, tenants, and the environment.
While all this keeps me quite busy, I also absolutely love to cook and entertain, drawing most heavily on a mix of recipes and techniques ranging from North Africa to India.
Interested in my work, collaborating, or just have a question? Drop me a line at dean DOT chahim AT gmail.com.