RISC Cluster Members + Project Team


Cluster Members

Dean Alonistiotis

Chief of Staff to Commissioner Kim Du Buclet, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, Chicago, IL

Dean helped lead efforts on launching the City of Chicago’s first impact investment fund, integrating socially responsible investment strategies to their investment portfolio as well as supporting small businesses to create impactful economic development opportunities across Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods. He works for MWRD, a water/wastewater utility serving over ten million residents in the Greater Chicago area.

Sonia Brubaker

Director, Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.

Sonia works across the nation to help local leaders make informed drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure decisions by providing expertise and oversee research on topics such as financial planning, affordability of water services, financing partnerships, and other innovative financing approaches.

Therese Dorau

Sustainability Consultant – Kim Lundren Associates, and former Director, Office of Sustainability, City of South Bend, IN

Therese led sustainability initiatives for the City of South Bend and is well regarded as an expert on preparing for the impacts of the climate crisis.

Ron Harris

Chief Resilience Officer, City of Minneapolis, MN

Ron Harris leads citywide resilience-building efforts in the city of Minneapolis. In partnership with the city’s enterprise and community partners, and business leaders, Ron’s work focuses on “shocks and stresses” including topics such as the impacts of racial inequity, climate adaptation needs, and the impact of economic inequality within community.

Kumar Jensen

Chief Sustainability and Resilience Officer, City of Evanston, IL

Kumar is the Chief Sustainability and Resilience Officer for the City of Evanston, IL. In this role he focuses on centering people in Evanston’s approach to preparing for the impacts of the climate crisis through implementation of Evanston’s carbon neutrality plan. In addition, Kumar serves in multiple leadership capacities within the Urban Sustainability Directors Network.

Jamie McCarthy

Sustainable Development Coordinator, City of Kalamazoo, MI

Jamie leads city of Kalamazoo’s redevelopment and sustainability efforts through her role within Community Planning & Economic Development and as liaison to the city’s Brownfield Redevelopment Authority. She is passionate about pragmatic solutions that leverage investments to create an urban environment that is more resilient, efficient, and equitable.

Kevin Meindl

Green Infrastructure Director, Buffalo Sewer Authority, NY

Kevin is a New York native with a background in sustainable land management. He has two master's degrees in landscape architecture and regional planning from Cornell University. He has experience in economic development, land use planning, geographic information systems analysis, and landscape design.

Karen Sands

Director - Planning, Research and Sustainability, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, WI

Karen Sands directs MMSD’s environmental mission that includes planning for green and grey infrastructure, researching to enhance processes and develop new water reclamation technologies, and implementing widespread green infrastructure, renewable energy/energy conservation strategies, and climate change mitigation/adaptation projects. MMSD has set lofty goals to protect Lake Michigan by managing and cleaning water in ways that benefit people, planet, and prosperity. Prior to joining MMSD, Karen held a number of environmentally focused jobs in the public and private sectors.

Joanne So Young Dill

Chief of Strategy and External Affairs for Commissioner Marcelino Garcia at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District

Joanne directs policy research, facilitates public-private partnerships, and throughout her career has focused on designing innovative environmental projects. A native of the Beantown, previously, she was Director of Strategic Initiatives at Friends of the Chicago River and currently serves on the Board of the Great Lakes Protection Fund.

Melissa (Missy) Stults, Ph.D.

Sustainability and Innovations Manager, City of Ann Arbor, MI

Dr. Missy Stults leads City of Ann Arbor’s efforts to become one of the most sustainable and equitable cities in America; an initiative that includes implementation of A2ZERO, a plan to achieve a just transition to community-wide carbon neutrality by 2030. Prior to joining the City, Missy worked with cities and tribal communities around the nation to advance their climate and sustainability goals, including during her time as the Climate Director at ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability and as a consultant to philanthropic organizations.

Ellen Tarquinio

Program Leader, Environmental Finance Advisory Board, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.

Ellen is an experienced Financial Policy Advisor with a demonstrated history of working in government administration and infrastructure. Within the federal government, Ellen ideas and advice to EPA’s Administrator and program offices on ways to lower the costs of and increase investments in environmental and public health protection.

Nadia Vogt

Resiliency Officer, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, WI

Nadia Vogt is a Senior Project Manager with the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. Nadia works across municipal, private and public sectors to effectively engage stakeholders in decision making around regional resilience. Nadia specializes in project development that leverages investments in
water resources to bring about additional triple bottom line benefits for communities with a focus on climate change and environmental justice populations.

Project Team

Sanjiv Sinha, Ph.D., P.E.

RISC Project Director and Senior Vice President, Environmental Consulting & Technology, Inc. (ECT), Ann Arbor, MI

Sanjiv developed this project, put the team together, and now coordinates it. A frequent presenter on topics related to economic instruments in the water infrastructure market, Sanjiv is credited with two of the Great Lakes’ largest green stormwater infrastructure related transactions and aspires to make these ideas mainstream.

William (Bill) Schleizer

CEO, The Delta Institute, Chicago, IL

Bill drives strategy behind Delta’s collaboration with more than 200 communities throughout the Midwest to solve environmental challenges and spur economic development. He has over 18 years of experience in systems analysis, environmental science, and consulting. He is a 2019 Notable LGBTQ Executive for Crains-Chicago Business, and enjoys experimenting with vintage cookbook recipes.

Paul Herman

CEO, Human Impact + Profit Investor, LLC, San Francisco, CA

Paul serves as an expert in impact investing, resilience investing, and opportunity zone investing. He brings refreshingly unique experience having worked previously on evaluating investments for Boards of Directors while at McKinsey and Company, designing and implementing investment strategy at Omidyar Network, and rating 125,000 investments for positive impact for people, planet, and trust.

Anna Wolf

Project Manager, Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT), Chicago, IL

Anna assists with the community engagement aspects of RISC, and brings a wealth of related experience having interviewed 12 communities about their water infrastructure issues, and secured partnerships with and executed in-depth engagements in four cities: Gary (IN), Dearborn (MI), Flint (MI), and Buffalo (NY). In each city, she assisted municipal staff in investigating and implementing innovative practices on topics including water affordability, GSI, and lead service line replacement.

Beth Gibbons

Executive Director, American Society of Adaptation Professionals (ASAP), Ypsilanti, MI

Beth is a senior advisor to RISC, and through her leadership of ASAP, a premier professional society for climate adaptation and resilience practitioners and researchers. She maintains an extensive and unique perspective on advancements and innovations across resilience and adaptation themes, both nationally and across the Great Lakes region. Previously, she was the Director of the University of Michigan Climate Center, and manager of NOAA’s Great Lakes Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments Center.

Richard Freund

Sustainable Infrastructure Manager, CDP North America, New York City, NY

Richard is a senior advisor to RISC and assists in leveraging CDP’s matchmaker’s program to help host meetings with financiers and municipalities as needed. In his current role at CDP, he oversees engagement with a range of global investors and other capital markets participants on sustainability and infrastructure projects submitted to CDP by local governments around the world.

Cherian George

Global Head, Fitch Ratings’ Infrastructure, New York City, NY

Cherian advises the RISC team on municipal ratings and their influence on project investments. Based in New York, he manages ratings and analysis on over 500 transactions globally, which includes water, public and social infrastructure, and public-private partnerships.

Jack Eskin

Senior Specialist, The Delta Institute, Chicago, IL

Jack provides task support related to water and green stormwater infrastructure, using his 8 years of urban planning experience, focusing on environmental planning, economic development, and sustainable development.

Allison Hooks

Sustainable Infrastructure Senior Associate, CDP North America, New York City, NY

Allison works with local governments across the world to advance investment in subnational climate mitigation, adaptation and resilience projects through CDP’s Matchmaker program as a Sustainable Infrastructure Senior Associate at CDP. Previously, she was a Climate Corps AmeriCorps Sustainability Fellow with the City of Oakland, CA where she analyzed the city’s climate action plan’s funding sources.

Reilly Manz

Programs Associate, Delta Institute, Chicago, IL

Reilly leads RISC’s communications framework and delivery. A part of Delta Institute’s Program Implementation team, he previously worked in a similar capacity at the Great Lakes Commission. Reilly enjoys skiing, photography, and clean drinking water, and occasionally, can be found rollerblading Chicago’s lakefront.

Greg Cannito

Co-founder, Rainplan and Managing Director, Corvias Solutions

Greg is a national leader in the development of numerous Public Private Partnership models such as Community Based Partnerships (CBP3) and the Military Housing Privatization Initiative (MHPI), that leverage private and/or public funding to achieve long term performance base outcomes tied to government policy and regulatory objectives.

Share This Page