Marcelino Garcia is Commissioner and Chairman of Finance of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.

He is focused on ensuring that Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are central tenets of the MWRD business practices. In addition to co-leading the MWRD’s 2021-2025 Strategic Plan, he advanced Procurement and Diversity/Contract Compliance initiatives, and challenges the agency to improve its practices, expand its programming, and grow its vision.

Similarly, recognizing that areas in Cook County are susceptible to flooding, he acknowledges the urgency of the matter and aims to do everything in his power to not only address the issue, but also ensure that community residents are properly informed.


● Authored the MWRD’s first Environmental Justice policy.

● Introduced an Environmental Justice Program Section.

● Improved the MWRD's leasing practices by updating its Land Use Criteria to include environmental justice and responsibility.

● Advised on the formation of the MWRD’s first Community Advisory Council.

● Advocated for the creation of bilingual Public Affairs Specialists.


● Served as co-chair of the Steering Committee, leading the MWRD through its most collaborative and inclusive process.

● Chartered core themes of engagement, collaboration, innovation, equity, and resilience.

● Called for the input of hundreds of internal and external stakeholders.

● Continues tracking the MWRD’s progress through a new Strategic Plan public dashboard.


● Advocated for equitable contracting, contract compliance, and diversity initiatives.

● Played a central role engaging with the business community, initiating virtual business round tables during the pandemic.

● Chaired and led the approval of the MWRD's Affirmative Action Ordinance Amendments.

● Introduced MWRD's LGBT and People’s with Disabilities Policy, which was approved by the Board of Commissioners in 2020.

● Encouraged expansion of vendor database, directing the MWRD to accept certification from the City of Chicago, County of Cook, and other governmental agencies, receiving certification requests year-round.

● Directed Diversity Section to develop a stand-alone Small Business program.

● Recommended increased utilization of Technical Assistance Agencies and development of a new mentor-protégé program.


● Created partnerships to recruit and diversify the MWRD workforce, providing training opportunities for job seekers, and launching mentorship programs.

● Entered into the MWRD’s first apprenticeship agreement with one of our unions to assist in increasing diversity.

● Partnered with HIRE360 on their Chicago Mentor Program, providing a starting point for innovative, sustainable, and competitive opportunities.

● Supported the SEIU Local 1's Green Janitorial Program, training the service industry in environmentally clean practices and furthering their skillset.


● Called to attention efficient systems integration, protecting MWRD assets and focusing on operational efficiency.

● Raised awareness to enhance the MWRD’s Safety Section, advocated for updated procedures and preparedness for emergency responses.

● Directed the Executive Team to develop a plan to meet the MWRD’s infrastructure and uncertainties brought up by the pandemic.


● Led the adoption of the MWRD’s first Climate Action Plan.

● Addressed water quality issues and impacts to communities while ensuring that the MWRD meets all permitting regulations.

● Improved Watershed Management Ordinance (WMO) to further assist in combating flooding.

● Directed the MWRD to monitor nutrients and emerging contaminants.

● Supported PFAS strategies, its continued research and impacts on the agency and communities we serve.


Elected by his peers to serve as Chairman of Finance, and re-elected in 2022 to continue his role as a member of the MWRD’s executive leadership. Despite economic volatility during the pandemic, Marcelino maintained strong finances, kept expenses down, diversified practices, and found alternate sources of revenue that help the taxpayers; allowing the MWRD to thrive and continue its excellent operations and service.

● In 2022, S&P Global (S&P) issued an upgrade from AA to AA+ Credit Rating and Fitch Ratings maintained its AAA Credit Rating for MWRD.

● Received historic honors for excellence in financial reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA).

● Strengthened the MWRD's pension reserves and protected future resources.

● Advocated for diversified managers on the MWRD’s portfolio. To date, 70% of District dollars are invested in accounts managed by M/W/VBE’s.

● Led the pathway to include First Women’s Bank as an approved depository with the MWRD, growing the economy and helping women entrepreneurs.


● Provided great relief for Cook County taxpayers and emphasized building resilient communities, participating in regional climate and planning studies.

● Abated property taxes by more than a combined $67 million as a result of two successful ordinances.

● Secured $1.5 million in the 2022 omnibus appropriations bill to support work mitigating flooding and improving water quality with Senator Duckworth and Senator Durbin.


Marcelino remains committed to providing resources to communities to support their health, environment, and the local economy. His hard work has extended to programs, projects, and policies.

●The MWRD received the "Supplier Diversity Advocate of the Year" from the LGBT Chamber of Commerce in 2022.

● Led the way in public health research projects - Wastewater surveillance project wins Chicago Innovation Award.

● Spearheaded cultural and educational opportunities, hosted MWRD's first Latinx, AAPI, and June Pride celebrations, raising the Pride flag for the first time in the history of the MWRD.

● Promoted world water collaborations, leading a delegation to India.

● Welcomed numerous first-time organizations and groups from near and far to introduce them the MWRD.

● Made himself available to every constituent in Cook County to meet with them and hear firsthand what they care most about.

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