• Staff

    Head shot of Alaina Harkness

    Executive Director

    Alaina leads Current’s work to build collaborations that advance innovative solutions to water challenges. She most recently served as managing director for the economic development firm RW Ventures, where she helped launch and lead the New Growth Innovation Network and developed inclusive growth strategies for cities and metropolitan regions. Prior, she held a research fellowship in urban governance at the Brookings Institution, led urban development strategy for the John D. And Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and staffed civic collaboratives: The Partnership for New Communities and 2016 Fund for Chicago Neighborhoods. Alaina is a nonresident fellow in the Global Cities program at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and has published research and commentary for the Brookings Institution, the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, and CityLab. She holds a B.A. in political science and art history from the University of Rochester, and Masters degrees in Public Policy and Latin American Studies from the University of Chicago. Alaina serves on the boards of the CityTech Collaborative, Urban Initiatives, and Margaret’s Village. She is a 2014 fellow of Leadership Greater Chicago. @harknessa

    Head shot of Svetlana Taylor

    Technical Program Director

    Svetlana leads Current’s technology-related projects and engineering internship program. With her expertise in water and wastewater treatment and chemical engineering, she rigorously evaluates the technical and economic viability of new technologies and provides oversight for technical pilots. Svetlana holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and an M.S. in Environmental Engineering from IIT.

    Head shot of George Brigandi

    Partnership & Development Manager

    George serves as Current’s Partnership & Development Manager, where he focuses on creating new opportunities for engagement among Current’s diverse stakeholders, which include innovators, utilities, industry leaders, investors, researchers and NGOs. By growing Current’s community of members and collaborators, he enhances the organization’s reach, and improves its ability to create value and impact. Additionally, he serves as the Director of the Master of Science in Sustainable Management program at DePaul University, where he also teaches Management 515 - Sustainability Management. George has been working in marketing and business development for the better part of a decade, and prior to joining Current, he was the Director of Marketing at Urban Rivers, where he led their brand and PR efforts. In 2018, he concluded his MBA in Sustainable Management and Entrepreneurship at DePaul University, and he also has a BA in Anthropology and History from Purdue University. George is a sustainability evangelist and frequently speaks at local, national and international events and conferences, like Greenbuild and DIPMF.

    Head shot of Preeti Iqbal


    Preeti is a Communications Intern at Current, originally funded through DePaul University's Coleman Entrepreneurship Center's Summer Internship Program. After working for over 20 years in corporate technology as a Systems Administrator, Project/Program Manager, and most recently as a Business Service Manager, Preeti took a break to follow her interests and develop herself through painting, volunteering, reading, and teaching. She decided to formalize her interest in sustainability and the environment and is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Sustainability Management at DePaul University's Kellstadt Graduate School of Business. Her future career interests lie in using her project management experience in natural resource management. She is PMP certified and holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Computer Engineering from the University of Poona (India) and Southern Methodist University respectively.

    Head shot of Thomas Doyle


    Tom is a Water Innovation Engineering Intern at Current, where he assists the team with research, analysis, project development, and tech database management. He is a Chicagoland native from Tinley Park and is currently studying Chemical Engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. Tom is passionate about sustainability, particularly where it applies to the environment and quality of life. Prior to beginning his internship, Tom gained laboratory experience in electrochemistry and materials science, studying the effects of corrosion for industry applications, and played an active role in researching novel energy storage technologies at the university.

    Head shot of Thomas Doyle

    Haiying Cui


    Haiying is an Engineering Intern at Current, focusing on assisting the team with technology analysis and research development. She has a background in Environmental Engineering from China University of Geosciences and gained laboratory experience in microbial hazards in bioaerosol pollution emission, which applies quantitative microbial risk assessment to sludge in municipal wastewater treatment plants. After that, Haiying has followed her interest in sustainability and is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Environmental and Ecological Engineering at Purdue University.

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