Rachel Webster

Senior Analyst

With a background in both government and non-profits, Rachel advances equitable placemaking at the project, neighborhood, and city-wide scales.


Rachel helps her clients translate their vision and goals into plans and strategies using strategic stakeholder engagement, market analysis, and narrative building.

Through New York State’s NY Forward, she worked with an inter-disciplinary team to develop investment strategies with capital projects totaling $5 million in value in strategic neighborhoods in New York City. Rachel also advanced the design and implementation of SAGE District Framework, a community-led model for investment in affordability, racial justice, and green infrastructure in Atlanta’s Sweet Auburn neighborhood. She facilitated key stakeholder meetings with City of Dallas staff to create the City’s Economic Development Policy that for the first time prioritizes Southern Dallas and communities of color, including crafting updates to economic development incentives, historic preservation policies, and community development functions.

Prior to joining HR&A, Rachel was a Senior Project Manager for New York City Economic Development Corporation with a focus on grant compliance for large infrastructure projects. During her time at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), she advised on grantmaking strategies and managed economic mobility programming. During a moment of major federal and city investment in a transit-oriented development project in Phoenix, Rachel disrupted philanthropies traditional grantmaking process by integrating residents’ anti-displacement concerns.

Rachel started her career as the Director of Constituent Services for former New York City Councilmember Jumaane Williams after completing her B.A. in Political Science at Macaulay Honors College at Brooklyn College. She completed coursework in pursuit of her Master of Urban Planning at New York University including Land Use Law, History and Theory of Urban Planning, Urban Economics, and Financial Management.

In her free time, Rachel enjoys biking, playing volleyball, mentoring high school students, and visiting with loved ones.

Member, Urban Land Institute

Member, Urban Revitalization Product Council