Leadership team

Clare Tallon Ruen, M.F.A. is an interdisciplinary water educator focused on bringing attention to the Great Lakes. Since 2009, with the formation of youth performance group LakeDance, she has developed a series of activities and field trips designed to incorporate our local watershed, movement and advocacy. Those lessons and field trips are being used in School District 65. Clare is chair of Citizens’ Greener Evanston’s Watershed Collective committee which is working to advance the city of Evanston’s water climate goals. Clare co-developed We are Water with a team from Northwestern’s  Center for Water Research as part of an ongoing curiosity about people’s relationship with our watershed. 

Vidya Venkataramanan is an interdisciplinary social scientist with training and experience in public health, environmental sciences, and international development. She co-developed the We are Water Evanston project with community and research partners as a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University’s Center for Water Research. She is now a Plastic Pollution Advisor (AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow) at the US Agency for International Development’s Green Cities Division. She has 13+ years of experience working domestically and internationally on community-based initiatives spanning infectious diseases, rural sanitation, and water insecurity. 

Liliana M. Hernandez Gonzalez is a Water Resources Scientist at the National Water Center in Alabama, USA. Liliana earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez and has a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Northwestern University. She has 6+ years of experience working with green infrastructure for stormwater management, water-related challenges, urban conservation, land and soil characterization, and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for natural resources assessments. Liliana also has extensive experience executing and managing projects in independent and collaborative environments and working in interdisciplinary studies that combine social science, data science, and engineering to reduce communities’ vulnerabilities to extreme weather events.