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
Technical Program Director
Svetlana leads technology identification, selection, evaluation, and implementation for projects and programs designed to support Current’s mission to spur innovation in water and benefit Current’s members and partners. She develops technical and programmatic evaluation methodologies and has completed several engineering analysis projects to assess technical and economic viability of new technologies in specific applications. Svetlana holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and M.S. in Environmental Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology.
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. 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.
Ryan is a Water Innovation Research Intern (Communications) at Current, where he assists the team with strategic communications, business development, project implementation, and event planning. Hailing from Auckland, New Zealand, he made the jump across the Pacific Ocean to pursue a master’s degree in Sustainability Management at DePaul University to further his passion for solving environmental and social challenges through technology, entrepreneurship, and cross-sector collaborations. Before starting his internship with Current in the summer of 2019, he spent two years as an associate at PwC. Ryan earned a B.S. in Business from Eastern Illinois University in 2016 and was a member of the men's tennis team.
Karyn is a Water Innovation Research Intern (Engineering) at Current, where she assists the team with research, analysis, project development, and tech database management. She recently moved to Chicago to pursue a master’s degree in Earth and Planetary Sciences at Northwestern University to further her interest in researching environmental processes to optimize human development and reduce impact. Prior to starting her internship, Karyn spent two years in Delaware earning her master’s in geological sciences and getting involved in climate policy. Karyn has pursued her passion for science communication through teaching at universities and volunteering at The Field Museum, and her interest in technology through her use and building of field instruments and data loggers.