Dr. Marissa Jablonski, Ph.D.
Executive Director of the Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin
“Be the Change: A Better Planet Starts With You”
Dr. Marissa Jablonski, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin, is an accomplished water engineer, environmental advisor and plastics-reduction expert who has worked in more than 45 countries. Her way of understanding and engaging in complex interactions between human beings and environmental systems, combined with her storytelling skills, make her a much sought-after consultant and speaker. Marissa has won awards and accolades from many organizations including the National Science Foundation, Philanthropic Education Organization and Mondialogo.
After earning a PhD in Environmental Engineering and serving as an instructor of Peacebuilding, Engineering and Physics at numerous institutions in Milwaukee, she moved to Washington D.C. to work in policy. During her time as a AAAS Science Technology and Policy Fellow at USAID, she was both a Public Diplomacy Fellow in the Office of American Schools and Hospitals Abroad and also an Environmental Advisor to the Office of Food For Peace. During this time, she was also asked by the U.S. Embassy of Thailand and the Phuket Hotels Association to serve as an Embassy Science Fellow to design and lead a five-point model to help reduce their single-use plastics by more than 6 million in 2018.
Marissa is a founding member and mentor to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee student chapter of Engineers Without Borders and advises on the design and implementation of projects in Guatemala. She also serves as International Coordinator of a Guatemalan-led NGO that builds infrastructure with indigenous communities to meet the needs of six groups involved in each project.
Marissa is an advocate for minorities and women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields and served as coordinator of National Science Foundation’s FORTE program from 2009 through 2015. During that time, she also designed an internationally recognized project that engaged with informal dye industries in rural India to affordably clean their wastewater.