Aic24 Harkness Alaina

Alaina Harkness

Executive Director, Current; CEO, Great Lakes ReNEW

Alaina Harkness is the executive director at Current, a Chicago-based water innovation hub. There, she has attracted federal and state investments, launched a real-time water quality monitoring platform and supported water startups. Harkness is also CEO of Great Lakes ReNEW, a National Science Foundation Regional Innovation Engine focused on resource recovery and the circular blue economy. Prior to this, she was a nonresident fellow in the global cities program at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Previously, Harkness founded Civicana and was managing director at RW Ventures economic development firms. She has published research for the Brookings Institution, Crain’s Chicago Business, San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank and CityLab. Harkness is a board member of Illinois Workforce Innovation Board, Urban Initiatives and Margaret’s Village.

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