Ilya is a network weaver who draws people and organizations out of their silos to work collaboratively and build connections. His interest in environmental education grew out of his work in primate conservation and behavior. Prior to his current role as the Director of Programs at Keep Austin Beautiful, he was the Operations Director and Year-Round Programs Coordinator at Eden Village Camp, a farm-to-table, back-to the-land sleep-away camp in New York’s Hudson Valley.
He is a current member and former co-chair of the Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee to the Superintendent of the Austin Independent School District and a mentor and trainer for the Children & Nature Network’s Natural Leaders Network. Ilya currently serves on the Michael & Susan Dell Community Collaborative for Child Health at the University of Texas’ School of Public Health, the nonprofit steering committee for the Cities Connecting Children to Nature initiative with the City of Austin and the National League of Cities, the steering committee for the construction, program development and long term sustainability vision for a new environmental education center being developed just south of Austin, TX by the YMCA with the help of the National Park Service called Camp Cypress, and the steering committee for Austin’s Let’s Move! Outside initiative which grew out of a national Let’s Move campaign initiated by First Lady Michelle Obama focused on making people healthier through physical activity.
Ilya earned a Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Washington, a Bachelors of Art in Anthropology from Hunter College – City University of New York, and a Certificate in Education for Environment and Community from IslandWood.