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Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Board of Commissioners Head Shot: Mariyana T Spyropoulos


Pension, Human Resources & Civil Service

Vice Chairman

Budget & Employment


Retirement Fund

Commissioner Mariyana Spyropoulos was elected to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) Board of Commissioners in 2010 and re-elected in 2016 and 2022. She has her Juris Doctorate from University of Illinois at Chicago Law School and Masters in Business Administration from Loyola University Chicago. 

She served as the MWRD’s Chairperson of Finance 2013 to 2015 and President of the Board of Commissioners from 2015 to 2019. She serves as Chairperson of the Judiciary Committee and of the Pension, Human Resources and Civil Service Committee. She also serves as a MWRD Retirement Fund Trustee. 

Commissioner Spyropoulos has championed fiscal responsibility, transparency and an environmentally progressive policy for the MWRD. She ensured that the MWRD maintains a AAA bond rating and a balanced budget every year. As a MWRD Retirement 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 has been a strong supporter of labor and veterans’ initiatives at the MWRD. She has prioritized public outreach and engagement throughout Cook County. Commissioner Spyropoulos received the 2017 Illinois Water Environment Association Public Service Award. In 2021, she was awarded the Public Officials Award from the Water Environment Federation. In 2022, Commissioner Spyropoulos was awarded the Alumni Public Service Award from the University of Illinois School of Law. 

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; and 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 components of the Space to Grow green schoolyard projects. Commissioner Spyropoulos supported expanding Space to Grow to the 125 suburbs surrounding the Chicagoland area. She also advocated for the MWRD to sign on to the Paris Climate Accord. Commissioner Spyropoulos has organized teams to complete beach clean-up work through the Alliance for the Great Lakes Adopt-a-Beach Program. 

In 2021, Commissioner Spyropoulos 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. The conference had over 200 speakers worldwide. In addition to being chairperson, Commissioner Spyropoulos participated in several panels, including: Women in Water and Regional Water Policy. One of the proud moments from the WWM Conference was the signing of an MOU between the Education Ministry of Thailand and American Groundwater Systems to develop an education curriculum. 

Commissioner Spyropoulos has advocated for the MWRD to implement 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 Chatham neighborhood. She supports efforts to make sure water remains a human right and that the MWRD pursues sustainable practices through all of its programs to reach energy neutrality. She sees sustainability as the key to the strategic future of any public agency.
Download Commissioner Spyropoulos’ Bio