METROPOLITAN WATER RECLAMATION DISTRICT Mariyana T. Spyropoulos (6 yr)

An immigrant, Commissioner Mariyana Spyropoulos was raised on the South Side of Chicago. She is the first of her immediate family to go to college. She has a Juris Doctorate from The John Marshall Law School/UIC and Masters in Business Administration from Loyola University Chicago. She served as Chairperson of Finance at MWRD from 2013 – 2015 and President of MWRD from 2015-2019.

Commissioner Spyropoulos was first elected to the MWRD in 2010 and re-elected in 2016. Since her election, Commissioner Spyropoulos has championed fiscal responsibility, transparency and environmentally progressive policy for the MWRD. She ensured that the MWRD maintain a AAA bond rating and a balanced budget every year. As an MWRD Pension Fund trustee, she has championed pension reform. She initiated efforts to bring transparency to the MWRD by introducing an Inspector General, broadcasting board meetings and developing an app for residents to report water pollution. She spearheaded efforts to reach out to foreign governments to seek cooperation and knowledge sharing opportunities. Her efforts have directly resulted in MOUs signed between the MWRD and Denmark as well as India.

Commissioner Spyropoulos has championed many environmental policies at MWRD. Including but not limited to: disinfection of the discharge from our plants, limiting MWRD use of pesticides on our land, advocating for pharmaceutical takeback legislation, supporting legislation for the proper labeling of non-disposable wipes, advocating for the use of green infrastructure as a stormwater tool to support our Tunnel and Reservoir Plan. Specifically,

Commissioner Spyropoulos advocated the use of green infrastructure which is one of the critical pieces of the Space to Grow projects. Mariyana supported expanding Space to Grow to the 125 suburbs surrounding the Chicago land area. She also advocated for the MWRD to sign on to the Paris Climate Accord. Mariyana has organized teams to complete beach clean-up work through the Alliance for the Great Lakes Adopt-a- Beach Program. Commissioner Spyropoulos received the 2017 Illinois Water Environment Association Public Service Award.

Commissioner Spyropoulos has advocated the MWRD to pursue flood management tools which utilize grey and green infrastructure, flood prone property acquisition, regulation of development and numerous regional and local flood control projects. She supported the MWRD Pilot Project with the City of Chicago to develop a program to assist residents reduce flooding in the Chicago neighborhood of Chatham. She supports efforts to make sure water remains a human right and move the MWRD to pursue sustainable practices through all of its programs and energy neutrality. She sees sustainability as the key to the strategic future of any public agency.

In 2021, Mariyana was the Chairperson for the 3rd Annual Water and Waste Management Virtual Conference & Expo. This is the first time that a Conference was being held in two time zones, the United States and India. Although the Conference was being held virtually, it allowed a wider reach with over 200 speakers worldwide. In addition to being chairperson, Mariyana participated in several panels including: Women in Water and Regional Water Policy. One of the proud moments from the WWM Conference is the signing of an MOU between the Education Ministry of Thailand and American Groundwater Systems to develop an education curriculum.

Mariyana has supported Democratic candidates on a national, state, county and local level.