CEQ Members and staff

Keith R. Ainsworth, Esq.
Keith Ainsworth has been an environmental and land use litigator of the New Haven Bar for nearly three decades. He has a broad conservation-based practice representing land trusts, non-profits, land owners and businesses in transactions and litigation throughout Connecticut before administrative agencies and state and federal courts. As a former chair of the CT Bar Association Environmental Law section and a municipal first selectman (Haddam), Keith has a perspective from several sides of the table. A graduate of Tufts with a B.S. in biology, environmental studies and English literature, Keith brings a scientific and analytical background to the law. Keith is a life member of the Madison Land Conservation Trust and served on the national leadership council of Trout Unlimited. Keith also serves as General Counsel to Vista Life Innovations, Inc., a private educational institute for adults with intellectual disabilities. Keith is also an avid outdoorsman and the author of several volumes of poetry.


Christopher Donnelly
Resident of Durham. Retired from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) in 2020, where he worked in the Division of Forestry as the Urban Forestry Coordinator for twenty years.  Prior work experience includes working as arborist and as the field representative of a major lumber trade association.  Graduated with a Master’s Degree in Forest Science from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, now known as The School of the Environment, and is licensed as an arborist in Connecticut and certified as a forester.  In retirement, he remains active with the Connecticut Tree Protective Association, where he administers the course for those seeking their arborist license, and with the Connecticut Urban Forest Council, currently serving as Vice-Chair.

David Kalafa
Resident of Middletown. Over thirty years working for the State of Connecticut developing and implementing policy for energy and conservation at the Office of Policy and Management and Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Retired as Undersecretary for Comprehensive Planning and Intergovernmental Policy at the Office of Policy Management. Served on the State Water Planning Council and Governor's Climate Change Commission. Holds a Master of Public Administration from the State University of New York and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Skidmore College.

S. Derek Phelps
Resident of Killingworth. Derek currently serves as Head of Policy & Governmental Affairs for Twelve, a clean tech startup focused on transforming waste CO2 into useful products for manufacturing and transportation. He is a highly experienced political and governmental affairs professional with an extensive climate change mitigation, energy, and legislative focus. Derek has worked in both the public and private sector, advocating for matters involving renewable and sustainable resources, public utilities, and project siting before congress and state and local governments. Derek earned a Bachelor’s degree in public administration from the University of Connecticut.  He also earned a Master of Science degree in e-Media Communications from Quinnipiac University.  

Denise Rodosevich
Resident of Hebron. Denise was an attorney with the State of Connecticut for over twenty years providing legal advice, analysis, and representation to several state agencies, including what was formerly known as the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Environmental law, policy, and advocacy were important aspects of her state service. Prior to that, she was a litigator in private practice and worked in various environmental analyst job titles at DEP. Denise was also an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Connecticut School of Law, teaching, among other courses, Toxic Torts.  She has authored one and co-authored another article addressing aspects of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. In addition to her law degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Conservation and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Colorado and the University of Montana, respectively.

Charles Vidich
Resident of Ashford. Environmental and land use consultant concerned with energy efficient and sustainable patterns of development.  Served as manager of the United States Postal Service Corporate Sustainability Initiatives program with responsibility for sustainability, energy efficiency and environmental management systems for the nation’s 32,000 domestic and overseas Post Offices.  Previously served as the principal planner for the Central Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments where he developed solar conscious land use ordinances and the nation’s first comprehensive regional plan of development. Appointed to the Connecticut Land Use Education Council with the mission to improve the skills and resources available to local planning and zoning commissions. Received the Lifetime Achievement Award from EPA’s National Sustainable Materials Management program.Appointed a visiting scientist to the Harvard School of Public Health as well as the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative where he lectured on scientific approaches to the use of quarantine and the environmental control of communicable disease. He served as the pivotal expert witness in a celebrated Connecticut Supreme Court case that successfully overturned restrictive zoning regulations and in a federal district court case that successfully overturned discriminatory land use practices.

William Warzecha
Resident of Norwich. Retired from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) with 36+ years of service. Early in his career, he served as the geologist/hydrogeologist to the Eastern Connecticut and King’s Mark Environmental Review Teams applying his technical background and expertise mainly in the areas of water supply development, waste disposal, and geologic development concerns with respect to major land-use projects, watershed studies and natural resource inventories statewide and assisted staff of the Connecticut Geological & Natural History Survey on geologic studies and investigations. Retired as the supervising environmental analyst for the Department’s Remediation Division primarily responsible for enforcing the state’s ground water pollution and potable water laws, protecting the state’s water resources, and overseeing the clean-up of soil and ground water at polluted industrial and commercial sites. He was a long-time Board member representing the City of Norwich to the Uncas Health District and is presently serving as a Trustee at the Norwich Free Academy and a member of the Board of Commissioners for the City of Norwich’s Public Utilities and Sewer Authority. Holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Management and Policy and a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Earth Science.

Interested in serving on the Council on Environmental Quality? Contact Paul Aresta, Executive Director at 860-424-4000.
The Council members serve a maximum eight-year term. Costs associated with travel to its monthly meetings are reimbursable. Though attendance remotely is allowed, you will want to meet the members in person. They are drawn to the Council due to their expertise in environmental science, law and governmental administration. The Council's duties are described above.

Current Membership:

Name Appointed By Appointed Term Ends
Keith Ainsworth Speaker of the House Mar. '19 Mar. '27
David Kalafa President Pro Tempore Apr. ' 19 Apr. '27
Christopher Donnelly Governor May '23 May '31
 S. Derek Phelps Governor  April '24 April '32
Denise Rodosevich Governor May '23 May '31 
Charles Vidich Speaker of the House Nov. '16 Nov. '24
William Warzecha President Pro Tempore Dec. '21 Dec. '29 
 Vacant  Governor    
 Vacant  Governor    
Paul Aresta, Executive Director

Ryan Carboni, Environmental Analyst