Board of Directors


Randy Kritkausky
Copyright 2000
Dave Feiling Photography
Randy Kritkausky, President, is the co-founder of ECOLOGIA. Trained as a sociologist and historian, his interests have focused on societies undergoing profound economic and cultural transitions. He first become involved with environmental and sustainable development issues when he lived in Northeastern Pennsylvania, severely impacted by the legacies of coal mining, heavy industry, and toxic waste disposal. During the 1970s Mr. Kritkausky was instrumental in promoting public participation in Pennsylvania. In the 1980s he traveled to the Soviet Union to investigate change in the region and to integrate this understanding into his college teaching. From this work ECOLOGIA emerged with a distinct model of constructive and scientifically grounded public participation.

Mr. Kritkausky then became involved in promoting partnerships between community based organizations and private enterprise. This work involved him in the creation and implementation of global standards such as the greenhouse gas accounting system developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). He has also worked in China with socially responsible entrepreneurs on projects such as creation of a fair trade supply chain for camel and cashmere fiber from Inner Mongolia, and poverty alleviation through rabbit raising in Sichuan Province. He is researching the impact of business models which prioritize community impact (the Orthogonal Economy).

His book, Without Reservation: Awakening to Native American Spirituality and the Ways of our Ancestors (published in September 2020), applies his experiences and insights to current environmental issues.

Mr. Kritkausky is an enrolled tribal member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. .

He has been a Research Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College, Vermont, and Visiting Scholar in Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California; Professor at Keystone College in Pennsylvania; and Erasmus Mundus Scholar at the Central European University in Budapest and Lund University in Sweden. He holds a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.A. in Early Modern History from Binghamton University.

Aleg Cherp Prof. Aleh Cherp, Board Member, is a Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy, Central European University, in Austria, and at Lund University, Sweden.

In the late 1980s - early 1990s, Mr. Cherp was actively involved in the Druzhina student nature protection movement in the USSR. He was the Program Director of ECOLOGIA NIS (Newly Independent States) Programs from 1994-1997, and was instrumental in the establishment of ECOLOGIA's programs in Russia, Tajikistan and Belarus.

He received an MSc. from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. His Ph.D, and his MSc in Pollution and Environmental Control are from the University of Manchester (England). A native of Belarus, he now lives in Sweden with his wife and their three children.

Carolyn Schmidt
Photo credit: Sas Carey, 2021

Carolyn Schmidt, Board Secretary, is ECOLOGIA's Program Director. Ms. Schmidt's experiences with glasnost and perestroika in the Soviet Union led to the founding of ECOLOGIA in 1989, and later to organizing community-based locally initiated projects, such as ECOLOGIA's Baltic Mini-Grant Program. She also worked on numerous international exchange programs involving participants from China, the former Soviet Union, Central Europe, and the United States.

In 2005, Ms. Schmidt joined the multi-stakeholder process that created ISO 26000, the voluntary global guidance standard on social responsibility for all organizations. In the Working Group on Social Responsibility (2005-2010), she represented ECOLOGIA as an NGO delegate. She was elected to the PPO, a group set up to monitor the implementation of ISO 26000. She was a founding member of the ISO 26000 Stakeholders Global Network in Bali, 2018, and served as Secretary from 2018-2022.

In her community in Vermont, she is a Justice of the Peace, and the Chair of the Whiting Democratic Party Town Committee. She is Vice President of the Board of Trustees of Spirit in Nature, which maintains forest paths with spiritual connections to different religious traditions. She is an advisory member of the board of Nomadicare..

Ms. Schmidt holds degrees in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania (B.A.; M.A.) A graduate of The Brearley School in New York City, she was the 2015 recipient of the Frances Riker Davis award, given each year to an alumna in recognition of professional achievement.

Ed Shoener Ed Shoener, Board Treasurer, has worked in the environmental protection field for 45 years. He was the Principal of Shoener Environmental Consulting Services, which provides environmental experience, strategic planning, project management and practical solutions to clients interested in: wind energy projects, environmental permitting, federal, state & local environmental regulations, wetland and ecological systems management, Pennsylvania's unique ecological and environmental issues, waste management, and water quality protection.

Mr. Shoener first became involved in environmental issues by working for local grassroots groups in Pennsylvania in the 1970's. Mr. Shoener holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from Penn State University in environmental management and pollution control. From 1978 to 1987 he worked for the U.S. EPA Hazardous Waste Management and Air Pollution Control Programs. From 1987 to 1994 he served as the Regional Director for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources, directing a staff of 230 people.

He resides in Scranton, Pennsylvania with his wife, Ruth Shoener. He is a Deacon in the the Roman Catholic Diocese of Scranton, and President of the Catholic Association of Mental Health Ministers. He also teaches environmental policy topics at Marywood University, Scranton.


Paul Soler-Sala Paul Soler-Sala, Board Member, is a Senior Project Manager in EHS Compliance Consulting, for Antea Group in Massachusetts. Mr. Soler-Sala conducts environmental work throughout Central/South America and Europe, as well as in the United States. His areas of expertise include: extended producer responsibility, product environmental compliance, health and safety compliance auditing, environmental impact studies, site assessments & environmental industrial due diligence, Environmental Health and Safety regulatory research & facility outsourcing, Environmental Management Systems, and soil and groundwater investigations.

Mr. Soler-Sala served as the Russia Representative of the United States Forest Service from 1992 to 1994 (based in Russia), and on numerous occasions has served as a Russian natural resource consultant. He documented his experiences as a volunteer for ECOLOGIA, in "Letters to ECOLOGIA: Fourteen months as an ecological traveler during the collapse of the Soviet Union" (1992 ECOLOGIA).

Fluent in Spanish and Russian, and conversational in Portuguese and Indonesian, Mr. Soler-Sala has lived in Spain, Colombia, Indonesia, India, Russia and Germany. He holds a B.A. from Clark University, and a Masters of Public Policy (M.PP.) in Urban Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University. He and his family live in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.


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Last modified by: C.Schmidt on 11-Mar-2022