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1st Friday Focus On The Environment: Former HRWC Leader Laura Rubin Settling In At New Job

Laura Rubin
Huron River Watershed Council

After two decades as executive director of the Huron River Watershed Council, Laura Rubin is expanding her environmental mission.  Back in April, Rubin was named director of the Healing Our Waters, Great Lakes Coalition.  On the August edition of  “1st Friday Focus on the Environment,” WEMU’s David Fair and Lisa Wozniak of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters talk with Rubin about the first few months on the job and where the coalition is headed. 

Lisa Wozniak
Credit Michigan League of Conservation Voters /
Lisa Wozniak, executive director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters

Lisa’s career spans over two decades of environmental and conservation advocacy in the political arena.  She is a nationally- recognized expert in non-profit growth and management and a leader in Great Lakes protections.  Lisa is a three-time graduate from the University of Michigan, with a Bachelors Degree and two ensuing Masters Degrees in Social Work and Education.

Lisa serves a co-host and content partner in 89.1 WEMU's '1st Friday Focus on the Environment.'

Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition Official Announcement of Laura Rubin’s Appointment as Director.

ANN ARBOR, MICH. (April 23, 2019) – The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition today named Laura Rubin as the next director for the Coalition.  Rubin has served as the executive director of the Michigan-based Huron River Watershed Council for the last 21 years.  She will officially start on June 3, 2019.  

“We are thrilled to welcome Laura Rubin as the new director of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition,” said Mike Shriberg, co-chair of the Coalition and its interim director.  “Laura has the vision, experience, and track record of success to help the Coalition advance solutions to the serious threats facing the lakes—from sewage contamination and toxic pollution, to nutrient runoff and invasive species.  She will be a strong and forceful advocate for the Great Lakes and the millions of people who depend on them for their drinking water, jobs, and way of life.”

“I am excited to join the Coalition during this important time,” said Rubin.  “The Coalition has earned a well-deserved reputation as a national leader in securing federal investment in regional ecosystem restoration efforts. I look forward to working with the Coalition, member organizations, and allies to ensure that Great Lakes restoration and protection remains a national priority—and that all of the region’s diverse communities, especially those which have historically borne the brunt of environmental injustice, benefit in the movement to restore the lakes.”

Rubin, as executive director of the Huron River Watershed Council (a member of the Healing Our Waters – Great Lakes coalition), led and managed one of Michigan’s most effective environmental nonprofits and a nationally recognized river protection organization.  Under her leadership, the organization built strong coalitions to advance solutions to protect drinking water from PFAS and 1,4 dioxane, reduce phosphorus runoff pollution, and advance river revitalization initiatives that resulted in bi-partisan support for statewide and local legislation and funding for restoration projects.  During her tenure, she initiated diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives throughout the organization, including changes in board composition, staffing, program partners, strategic outreach and on-going staff training.

Prior to her tenure at the Huron River Watershed Council, Rubin worked to implement pollution-reduction programs for small- and medium-sized manufacturers in Michigan.  She also has worked with the Navajo Nation in Arizona to advance sustainable economic development.  A graduate of Colorado College, Rubin was the first class to graduate from the University of Michigan’s Erb Institute joint MS-MBA program in business and natural resources.

Rubin will be the third director in the Coalition’s 15-year history.


Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition

Michigan League of Conservation Voters

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at

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Lisa Wozniak is Executive Director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters.
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