Our team, experts and Ambassadors

Anna Woźniak-Lubaś, CEO

She specializes in developing concepts, implementing and managing bottom-up support programs undertaken by local communities. She carries out numerous ecological and cultural education-related projects. She provides consultancy and training for non-governmental organizations and schools in the area of strategic and operational planning, project management, fundraising, writing grant applications, and financial management in NGOs. She managed the grant programs of the Polish Environmental Partnership for Central Europe, managed by the German Marshall Fund (1996-2004), and has been carrying out this activity in the Partnership Fund (since 2004). A mentor of non-governmental organizations, she is a graduate of Training of Trainers, she provides mentoring to instructors for Polish environmental organizations. With a background in accounting and financial management, she manages financial endowment funds. She owns the European Fundraising Certificate.

Dominika Zaręba, chairwoman of the Advisory Board, spokeswoman for international cooperation.

Ecotourism promoter, author of the first ecotourism book in Poland (“Ekoturystyka”, PWN, 4th edition 2020) “Concept for Promoting and Developing Ecotourism in Poland” (Polish Tourist Organization). Cracow University of Economics graduate. Journalist, author, tourist guide writer, and economist by profession. Cofounder of Bezdroża Publishing House. As part of the Partnership for the Environment Foundation, she established a program of green routes (greenways) in Poland and Central and Eastern Europe and initiated green routes in Belarus and Ukraine. She is the president of the Greenways Polska Association and works with numerous international organizations that promote sustainable tourism, incl. Global Ecotourism Network and European Ecotourism Network. Photographer and traveler, and children’s books author, she runs a website on eco-travel www.atitlan.pl.

Nina Gałuszka / heritage management, market research, and consumer awareness expert, member of the Advisory Board

A cultural anthropologist by education and passion, she also studied economics and CSR(Corporate Social Responsibility) in Poland and Italy. A long-time activist in the non-governmental sector, specializing in sustainable development, in particular in the field of heritage tourism and management, as well as in the field of the cultural landscape. Author of several books, studies, and reports on this subject. Professionally associated with a business, where she is an expert and advisor in the field of development programs for governmental and local governments’ entities and intersectoral cooperation, as well as a manager of cultural and social projects. She is the president of the Foundation of the Regions, which conducts research and transmits knowledge about the Polish tradition after 1945. An active member of the Greenways Polska Association, supporting the development and promotion of greenways principles and methodology in Poland. Her expertise lies in the fields of sustainable development and heritage management, and she performs a variety of market and awareness studies in these areas.

Sylwester Sadurski / publishing and advertising production manager, member of the Advisory Board

Graduated from the University of Physical Education in Cracow. Since 2004, he has been active in the advertising and publishing market. Managing large printing projects and working with the best graphic designers on the market were some of his duties as a production manager. As a passionate advocate for environmentally friendly promotion and advertising, he starts the design process by agreeing on the optimal production parameters. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking in the Gorce Mountains and the Low Beskids. In summer, he prefers a bicycle to traveling by car, and in winter he chooses cross-country skis. He regularly takes part in programs related to rivers and hiking trails cleaning. Engaged in humanitarian help for Ukraine.

Katka Szczęśniak / Cultural Expert, Socio-Cultural Animator, Social Media Expert

Professionally affiliated with ARTzona in Nowa Huta (C. K. Norwid Cultural Center), initiator and creator of the Stylowa Nowa Huta blog, originator and coordinator of numerous cultural projects in Nowa Huta, including the conference “Culture. Spaces of Inspiration ”(2020), as well as a variety of activities with local communities. An enthusiast of oral histories – she initiated and co-implemented the project “Rabczańskie mikrohistorie” (Microhistories of Rabka), collaborated with Władysław Orkan Biographical Museum in Rabka-Zdrój on the project “Rabczańscy Rzemieślnicy”, (Artisans of Rabka) “Heródek – Orawski Nikifor”, on and with non-governmental organizations, incl. Zofia Rydet Foundation on the project “Coś, co zostanie” (2014, 2015, 2016) and the STOG Association – the project “Przywracamy pamięć o Karolu Wójciaku „Heródku” in Lipnica Wielka (2016), and a volunteer for the 4 Alternatives Foundation. Winner of “Culture in the Network” scholarship program of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage in the area of “Culture management and supporting culture staff” (2020). Long-distance walking and cycling enthusiast, a Rabka-Zdrój local, big fan of “Star Wars” and her cats – Grzegorz and Kafka.

Katarzyna Paterek / psychologist, animator, trainer, activist, House of Nature and Culture in Białowieża Forest

A social worker by profession (graduated from the Institute of Social Prevention and Rehabilitation at the University of Warsaw), A passionate co-creator, she strives to create a safe environment for cooperation and exchange. At work, she is inspired by tools based on experience from process-oriented psychology and solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT). She has co-created, among others, a project named ‘Wild is beautiful’ – an educational and cultural festival on wildlife in the Białowieża Forest, as well as the social movement Camp for the Forest and the association ‘Dom Przyrody i Kultury’ (the House of Nature and Culture). Cooperates, among others, with the Manzana Foundation for the Development of Psychosocial Skills, The Active Action Lab “Półpiętro”, Dobra Wola Association. She also carries out initiatives such as:Kolektyw Wypuszczone, Historie mocy, Lepiej z ludźmi, Przepływy * Przemiany, Śpiewanie terapeutyczne, Natura Śpiewu – development initiatives, programs, and courses related to social and psychological skills and exploring one’s own capabilities through various forms of self-expression,. Being in the woods, singing in groups, and interacting with wild animals are among her favorite activities.

Piotr Szmigielski / English translator and editor, writer

Got the hang of writing grant proposals in the tech community. Passionate about the English language, including as an ally in the protection of cultural and natural heritage. An ornithologist in his spare time, by night a Russian media junkie and a researcher of grassroots underground movements in Poland during World War II. 

Partnership Academy Ambassadors

Krystyna U. Wolniakowski / Executive Director of the bi-state Columbia River Gorge Commission, USA, Founder of the Environmental Partnership for Central Europe

Krystyna U. Wolniakowski was appointed as Executive Director of the bi-state Columbia River Gorge Commission in 2015 and manages the largest National Scenic Area in the U.S.  to protect its natural, scenic, cultural, recreation and economic resources.  Before joining the Commission, Krystyna led the Western Regional Office of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) in Portland for more than 14 years as Regional Director, managing conservation grant-making programs in seven Western states. Krystyna was recently appointed by Governor Kate Brown to the Oregon Ocean Science Trust Board and the Klamath River Renewal Corporation Board, and has also served as science advisor for development of the statewide Focused Investment Partnerships Program for the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB).  From 1991-2000, she worked for the German Marshall Fund of the U.S. as Director for Central and Eastern Europe, developing programs for conservation, economic, and democratic reforms in seven countries after the fall of the Berlin wall.     She received the “Knights Cross of Honor” from the President of Poland in 2015 for a decade of work in Poland building international environmental partnerships and civil society. Krystyna earned her B.S. degree at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in Biology/Chemistry in 1977 and her M.S. degree at Oregon State University in oceanographic sciences in 1980. 

Zbigniew Jędrzejewski / former chairman of the Partnership Fund Council, long-term advisor to the Partnership Fund

A graduate of English studies at the University of Silesia and management studies at Bedfordshire University, Luton, Great Britain. He also obtained a Ph.D. in management from the Kozminski University in Warsaw. Co-founder of the Partnership for the Environment Foundation and longtime councilor, including vice-chair of the Council and chairman of the Grants Committee. In the late 1990s, he led the USAID-funded LEM (Local Environmental Management Program) project. . He is the co-author of the Central European Environmental Partnership Training for Non-Governmental Organizations. Long-term president of the board of LEMTECH Konsulting Sp. z o.o. offering services in the municipal sector in the field of planning, preparation, and financing of pro-environmental investments in municipalities.

Jacek Michałowski / lecturer at Collegium Civitas, community organizer and mentor of community-based organizations, former civil servant

Jacek Michałowski has been active and working in the civil society sector for over 40 years. A member of the democratic opposition during the time of the Polish People’s Republic and a member of the first Solidarity movement. Program Director of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation in 2000-2010, psychologist, psychotherapist, public official, serving in such roles as Chief of the Chancellery of the Prime Minister in 1998-2000, Chief of the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland in 2010-2015 and Director of the Office of Studies and Analysis of the Chancellery of the Senate of the Republic of Poland in 1990-1998. Academic teacher – including: lecturer at Collegium Civitas, community organizer and mentor of community-based organizations. Since 2019 he has spearheaded “Thirtieth Year of Freedom” (www.rokwolnosci.pl) – a nationwide grassroots initiative – and runs “Freedom – Self-Government – Solidarity” online workshops for young people which are part of the initiative.

Joanna Pawluśkiewicz / activist, improviser, screenwriter, House of Nature and Culture in Białowieża Forest
fot. Tomek Kaczor

Activist, improviser, screenwriter, author of two novels, co-author of two projects “New Urban Legends”, “Big Dog Doesn’t Bark”, awarded the Homines Urbani literary scholarship and a scholarship from the Polish Ministry of Culture, winner of the prestigious Orzeł Film Award for the film “Warsaw Uprising” and co-founder of the Comedy Club in Warsaw. Joanna Pawluśkiewicz teaches at the Impro School, she is also an activist in the Camp for the Forest, and is involved in community activities in the Białowieża Forest, in the artistic, social and natural fields.

Waldemar Rudyk/ artist and cultural animator
fot. Tomek Kaczor

Waldemar Rudyk – Artist and cultural animator associated with Chełmek. Born in Szczekociny, graduate of the Institute of Art Education, Branch of the University of Silesia in Cieszyn. He deals with drawing, painting, objects, art books, installations and activities in public spaces. His intricate sculptures and objects, created in natural and urban spaces, are recognized. He presented his works at over three hundred exhibitions and shows. He is the originator and implementer, together with Moksir Chełmek, of projects and programs combining culture, ecology and local history. For many years, he has been involved in artistic activities with managing a cultural center and exploring and promoting local cultural heritage.

Lubomira Kolcheva/ Director of the Bulgarian Environmental Partnership Foundation in Bulgaria
fot. Tomek Kaczor

Lubomira Kolcheva (Bulgaria) is the Director of the Bulgarian Environmental Partnership Foundation. She holds a degree in Sociology (Society and Politics) from the Central European University, where she first found her interest in civil societies and the socio-political factors that inform and influence their changing agendas in Central and Eastern European countries. Lubomira has participated in a working group of NGO representatives at the Council of Ministers in Bulgaria that assisted in the drafting of a regulation for the operation of a Civil Society Development Council (a new NGO-elected body, responsible for outlining priority areas for policies that support civil society). Through her involvement in BEPF activities on awareness raising and capacity building of NGOs and young people, as a means of sustaining a healthy civil sector and networks, Lubomira helps strengthen civic groups and expand networks and contacts for collaborative civic activism in the fields of climate change, citizen participation, environmental education, etc.

Michał Książek / Polish poet, reporter, cultural expert
fot. Tomek Kaczor

Polish poet, reporter, cultural expert, forester, ornithologist, activist, one of the co-creators and initiators of a nationwide network of people working for forests in Poland (currently: Forests and Citizens Network). Involved in the activities of the Forest Camp, the Wild Carpathians Initiative and the protection of many other local forests and roadside trees in Poland. His articles have been published in acclaimed newspapers and journals such as “Polityka”, “Les Polski”, “Twórczość”. Contributor to the legendary Polish quarterly “Przekrój”. Winner of the 2015 Wrocław Silesius Poetry Award in the Debut of the Year category for “The Science of Birds”. For this volume he was also nominated to the 2015 Nike Literary Award. For his “Droga 816” documentary he was awarded, among others, the 2016 Gdynia Literary Award in the essay category, and the Literary Award of the Mayor of Białystok. Wiesław Kazanecki for the best book of 2015.

Experts cooperating with us

Barbara Sadurska / writer 

Lawyer, a specialist in intellectual property law, writer, winner of the onet.pl competition “Olsnienie Roku” (Revelation of the Year) 2020 for the book “Map” (Nisza Editions). Graduate of the Faculty of Law and Administration (2001) and Polish Studies (2000) of the Jagiellonian University. She completed postgraduate studies in “Copyright, Press and Publishing Law” at the Institute of Intellectual Property Law of the Jagiellonian University (2006) and “Information Society” at the Faculty of Physics, Astronomy and Applied Computer Science of the Jagiellonian University (2008), Szkła Trenerów (2009) and School of Training Project Managers (2011) – Wszechnica UJ Negotiation School – House of Skills (2012). She carries out training courses in copyright and numerous creative writing workshops. She has written ecological fairy tales for the Partnership Fund: ‘Terra from the Forest’, ‘Rea, the daughter of the storm’, and ‘Gaja from Nowa Huta’.


Jakub Bem / children and seniors’ instructor in the field of social and physical activity

Member of the Nowe Centrum Foundation, which works with children and seniors. In his free time, he organizes sports activities in the Nowa Huta Team group and runs around Nowa Huta – the greenest district of Cracow. He cooperates with the Partnership Fund on numerous community activation programs in Nowa Huta. He is the co-author of the ecotourism guide entitled „Jaka zielona. Ekoprzewodnik po Nowej Hucie” .


Barbara Firlej / French and English teacher, translator

Coordinator of ecological projects, a graduate of French Philology at Jagiellonian University. Bicycle and backpacking trips enthusiast. Photographer and writer by passion. She is the co-author of the ecotourism guide entitled „Jaka zielona. Ekoprzewodnik po Nowej Hucie”. ”. She coordinated a series of trainings under the “Małopolska Ecotourism” project organized in the formula of green events. A resident of Cracow, traveller by heart, fascinated by the beauty of hidden places, districts, and nooks.


Kamil Sorocki / Artist, photographer, and filmmaker

For the Partnership Fund, he made a film entitled “Zielona Nowa Huta – our dream of a sustainable world” (photos, editing) and also took photos for the ecotourism guide “Jaka zielona. Ekoprzewodnik po Nowej Hucie” and the“ Małopolska Ecotourism ”project. He graduated from Film and Television Production Organization and is the owner of Sorocki Studio: http://sorocki.com. When he gets the chance, he enjoys taking on projects and film challenges, where he can show off his creativity.


Diana Jabłońska / graphic artist

Graphic designer, illustrator, and designer. She specializes in the field of sustainable development and “slow life”. Deals with branding, illustration, and composition. She works in an advertising agency and as a freelancer. Besides working with independent contractors in Poland, she also works with foreign entrepreneurs. A co-founder of the States of Mind festival in Cracow. She runs the yabuko brand, creating handicrafts, decorating events, and unconventional weddings. Graduated in graphics at the Pedagogical University of Cracow and Merchandising Techniques at the London College of Fashion in London. In the Partnership Fund, she has created graphics for the project “Małopolska Ekoturystyka” carried out in cooperation with the Marshal’s Office of the Małopolska Region.


Marzena Polek / human resource management and cooperation with companies specialist

A graduate of philosophy at the University of Silesia and human resource management at the Pedagogical University in Cracow. Healthy lifestyle, sustainable transport, and the concept of “zero waste” enthusiast. Taking her three children to school and going to work by bicycle each day, she promotes bicycle transportation in Cracow. She works in a corporation as a financial specialist. As part of her work with the Partnership Fund, she provides assistance in sustainable development, collaboration with companies, and building small grant programs. Originally from Silesia, she is passionate about the heritage of her small homeland.