Chairman Zalewski came to the Commission from the Illinois Pollution Control Board where she had served since 2009. At the Board, Zalewski adjudicated complex environmental cases under the Illinois Environmental Protection Act, shaped critical rulemaking and worked to properly balance the interests of Illinois businesses and residents while protecting Illinois’ land, air, and water.
Before serving on the Illinois Pollution Board, Zalewski was Assistant Chief Counsel for the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). While at IDOT, she deftly handled various environmental issues regarding NPDES permits and leaking underground storage tanks. She also provided counsel in other air, land and water issues, as well as in other transportation safety issues. Prior to that, Zalewski worked in private practice in litigation.
Chairman Zalewski is active in her community having donated her time as a volunteer at Courage Connection serving victims of domestic violence in Champaign (previously Center for Women in Transition), and as a tutor for Tutoring Chicago (previously the Cabrini Green Tutoring Program). She served on the Chicago Youth Centers Auxiliary Board, the Cameron Can Foundation Advisory Board and the Greater LaGrange YMCA Board. She has been recognized for her leadership and commitment to community having been awarded the YMCA Vision Award in 2012, and she was named one of Cook County’s “Unsung Heroes” in 2015. Zalewski is a graduate of the Illinois Women in Leadership Program, class of 2008.
She earned her Juris Doctor at the Chicago-Kent Law School and her Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with one semester abroad in Durbin, South Africa.