Rachel Toker is President and Chief Executive Officer of Urban Ecosystem Restorations, Inc. (UER), a nonprofit urban land trust that works to create, protect, and aggregate urban green spaces provide ecological function to the surrounding ecosystem in the Washington, D.C. region.
Ms. Toker has over 20 years of experience in commercial and multi-family real estate development, mixed-use and mixed-income projects, public-private partnerships, and environmental sustainability initiatives, including programs to develop green buildings and stormwater best management practices (BMPs). With a background in transactional real estate law and urban policy, she has worked closely with private real estate developers, equity investors, governmental and quasi-governmental entities, and nonprofit organizations to achieve triple-bottom line objectives.
Ms. Toker received her Master of Environmental Management at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment in May 2022. She is a LEED AP (BD&C), and she has been certified as a Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional by the Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional Certification Program (www.cblpro.org) and as a Weed Warrior supervisor (for invasive species removal) by the Parks Department of Montgomery County, Maryland.
In addition to her work with UER, Ms. Toker practices real estate law at DLA Piper and teaches “Foundations of Real Estate Law,” “Sustainable Development & Construction,” and “Ethics in Action” for the Masters of Professional Studies – Real Estate Program at Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies.
She has previously served as a consultant to the Redevelopment Authority of Prince George’s County, Maryland, assisting in the creation of green building initiatives and affordable housing programs. She has also served as an attorney in private practice at Bocarsly Emden Cowan Esmail & Arndt LLP, a boutique law firm specializing in low-income housing tax credits, and in the real estate practice group at Arnold & Porter LLP in Washington, D.C. She has served in government at the Office of Chief Counsel in the Economic Development Administration (within the United States Department of Commerce); the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation, an instrumentality of the District of Columbia government; and the Real Estate Section of the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia, representing and advising the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development under former Mayor Anthony Williams.
Before starting in private practice, Ms. Toker served as a judicial law clerk to the Hon. Myron H. Bright of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. She received her J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School, a Master in Public Policy degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and her B.A., with University Honors and Distinction, from Stanford University.