The Great Lakes region has always been home for Great Lakes Now Program Director Sandra Svoboda. Svoboda was born in Chicago, educated at Indiana University, and has spent nearly her entire professional career in Michigan and Ohio.
Her journalistic print, digital, broadcast, and community engagement work has won awards from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, Michigan Press Association, State Bar of Michigan, Association of Alternative Newsweeklies and Society of Professional Journalists-metro Detroit chapter, and in 2018 the University of Michigan-Dearborn named her "Mentor of the Year." For her work covering Detroit's bankruptcy at WDET-FM, Detroit public radio, she received numerous awards including the Distinguished Alumni of the Year from Wayne State University's public administration program.
After a stint with FEMA where she supported disaster response and community redevelopment in Louisiana, she is keenly interested in how local governments can create sustainable, resilient communities in the Great Lakes Basin.