Our Team

The key to Fundatia ADEPT's achievements over the last 14 years is our staff. We have a dedicated multidisciplinary team, offering a variety of skills all united around the concept of farmer-based conservation offering true sustainability. We have local knowledge (most of our team come from the Târnava Mare area) to listen to, and act upon, the local problems that are the most real and immediate threats to the survival of individual farmers and of farming communities.

We have the range of skills to tackle a whole range of problems: design of agri-environment and other Rural Development payment schemes; hygiene regulations and other inspection problems; practical microscale production techniques; marketing; building of effective farmer groups and associations. And we can tackle these problems immediately and locally. In addition, owing to our policy expertise, we can also work at national and even EU policy level, which amplifies and consolidates our local results.

This has proved to be an excellent formula for success, which has attracted European attention since there are few other integrated projects like this .

The ADEPT Saschiz office acts as a one-stop-shop providing information for rural communities on all areas of farming and wildlife, and rural income diversification, so that it brings together the range of rural support measures and delivers them effectively at local level. It acts as a centre for development of local food markets, eco-tourism, promoting access to agri-environment schemes, as a grassland conservation field centre and as an administrative centre.


Nat Page - President

Responsible with project management, fund raising. A graduate in Zoology, 15 years in H.M. Diplomatic Service (1st Secretary, British Embassy Bucharest, 1991-95), Nat now divides his time between managing his organic beef farm in southwest England and promoting conservation of the High Nature Value farmed landscapes of Romania. Nat has been working in Romanian rural development since 1998. Speaks English, Romanian.

Cristi Gherghiceanu - Executive President

In-country project co-ordination and financial control, providing overall leadership of ADEPT and overseeing the daily operations and of strategic area ‘building organisational capacity’. Cristi graduated from Brasov University in IT, economics and accounting and has been working for rural development NGOs since 2000. He has been guide and translator for numerous World Bank missions. Cristi runs his own consultancy undertaking market research for foreign companies. Speaks Romanian, English, German.

Răzvan Popa - Technical Director

Brings considerable expertise on sustainable development, agri-environment and biodiversity conservation, including farmer training and extension. Graduate of Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj, in Ecology, currently engaged in a PhD in protected area management planning. Speaks Romanian, German and English.

Key Advisors

Dr. John Akeroyd, Key Advisor

Key Advisor on grasslands and their conservation management, and also leads botanical tours of the project area. He has carried out field research, student teaching and lecturing in many European countries, and has extensive knowledge of the flora of Greece, Balkans and Romania, Poland, Ireland and Britain. He was Member of Flora Europaea Editorial Committee (1988–1998) and is author of numerous scientific and popular publications.

Andrew Noble, Key Advisor

Andrew Noble is a British diplomat who has served twice in the British Embassy in Romania. As Press Attache in the communist era Embassy (1983-86), and as Ambassador (2018 to October 2023), he has developed a profound respect and affection for this country. He has travelled widely in Romania and led an active Embassy through five years of significant change in Romania. Andrew joined HM Diplomatic Service in 1982, after studying Modern and Medieval Languages at Gonville and Caius College Cambridge. In a diplomatic career of over 40 years, he also served as British Ambassador to Algeria, Deputy Ambassador in Germany and Greece, and as Head of the Political Section in the British High Commission in Pretoria/Cape Town in Mandela's South Africa. Andrew was appointed LVO by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for his involvement in the State Visit to South Africa in 1995. The early years of his career were dominated by the Cold War and ever since he has dealt with democratic transition, whether in Europe or Africa. He has been closely involved throughout his career with all aspects of British security policy. Andrew speaks Romanian, German and French fluently and has also learned modern Greek, Afrikaans and some Arabic. Andrew is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Ratiu Forum, a Trustee of Hospice Casa Sperantei and a member of the International Consultative Board of the New Strategy Centre in Bucharest, Romania. He is married with four children and is an active amateur musician.


Ben Mehedin - Food & Farming Communities Manager

Graduate of Technical University, Iasi, in chemical engineering. Various diplomas in marketing, rural business entrepreneurship. Special responsibility for farmer training and extension services, assisting farmers with access to funding and implementation of projects for small producers. He is also responsible for schools activities and local community relations.  Speaks Romanian and English.

Diana Stoichițescu - Director of Finance

Graduate of the Transylvania University of Brasov, Faculty of Economic Sciences and Business Administration, chartered accountant and certified chartered auditor. Considerable practical and theoretical knowledge in business administration, with competencies in human resource management and public acquisitions. Her responsibilities include the drafting of documents related to finance and accounting, in compliance with the requirements of each project, and monitoring of the financial implementation of each activity. Speaks: Romanian, English.

Liliana Gherghiceanu - Project Manager

Graduate of Bucharest University, Faculty of Letters, with more than 15 years working experience in sales, marketing, communication and business management. Various courses in marketing & communication, project management, business development & entrepreneurship. Responsible for organising and coordinating administration duties , assigned projects and ADEPT office procedures. Speaks Romanian and English.

Laura Chirilă-Pașca - Marketing & Enterprise Manager

Considerable practical experience in marketing and masters degree in business studies. Responsibilities include developing economic incentives for farming linked to biodiversity (marketing, branding etc.), communications and public awareness. Speaks Romanian, English, French and Italian.

Oana Stoichițescu - Project Coordinator

Graduated of Medicine and Pharmacy Faculty from Târgu Mureș, in Nutrition and Dietetics field, Master in Health Services Management. With studies in the field of GDPR and training, it is responsible for the implementation of projects, target group monitoring and evaluation, centralization, verification and processing of documents, elaboration of various reports and situations within the projects. Speaks: Romanian and English.

Diana Schuster-Costea - Office & Administrative Support Supervisor

One of the oldest members of the organisations, works as administrative and office services support, in order to ensure effective and efficient operations. Speaks Romanian, German and English. 

Dorothea Batea-Ziegler - Responsible for Tourism & Recreation activities

Responsible for all activities that relate to tourism and recreation within other areas of the ADEPT strategy. Overseeing the operations of Saschiz Tourism Information Centre. Speaks Romanian, German and English. 

UK Trustees

Nicolae Rațiu - Chairman of Trustees

Chairman of Trustees, businessman and philanthropist. Born in Davos, Switzerland 1948, Managing Director of Regent House Properties Ltd., UK, and Chief Executive of the RH Group in Romania with interests in media (Realitatea Catavencu Group), printing (RH Printing) and real estate – Bucharest and Campulung Industrial Parks, Carol Park Residence, and others; Chairman of The Ratiu Foundation; Treasurer of The Romanian Cultural Centre London; Trustee of Pro Patrimonio (The National Trust of Romania); Trustee of The Relief Fund for Romania; President of Fundatia Ratiu, Romania.

Tim Scott Bolton

Tim Scott Bolton worked as a land agent in Yorkshire, then in Kenya. He subsequently managed farms on Salisbury Plain for the Ministry of Defence. In 1984 he became a full time landscape painter and his work takes him all over the world, especially India and Romania where he regularly takes groups of painters. He is also owner of an organic sheep and beef farm. He and his wife Tricia run the Summerleaze Gallery in their redundant farm buildings. www.summerleazegallery.co.uk

Libby Kinmonth

Libby Kinmonth was a former Project Director for the Conservation Foundation (based at the Royal Geographical Society London). She continues to develop ideas that can be turned into either community and or environmental projects/initiatives, such as O2's It’s Your Community awards programme. These community projects are funded either by the corporate sector or Government funding through Heritage Lottery. The Foundation’s work with DEFRA (UK's Government Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) involves sustainable development and influencing current behaviour patterns in consumption.

Lenke Balint

Born and raised in Cluj, Lenke used to be Fundatia ADEPT Transilvania staff between 2008-2012. Among other things, she worked on developing urban farmers' markets in a number of Romanian cities and helped set-up the Saschiz pottery center. She now lives in Cambridge, UK and until recently has worked for The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and BirdLife International, building capacity for nature conservation organisations in South East Europe.  She currently works on EU energy policy related issues at the Global Sustainability Institute in Cambridge.

Owen Mountford

Owen Mountford retired at the end of 2016 after 40 years as a plant ecologist for the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH).  During that time, his research focussed on a) wetlands, grasslands and their water requirements, b) agri-environment schemes, c) transport routes and d) the scientifically-based management of protected areas.  He has travelled and worked in Romania since 1997, leading projects to design standard methods of national park monitoring, creation of a Biodiversity Information Management System and, most importantly, directing the team that advised on the Implementation of Natura 2000 in Romania during its accession to the European Union.  Since retirement, he has been appointed a fellow of CEH and lives part of each year in Bucharest, remaining actively involved in research with Romanian colleagues.

Moritz Fried

Moritz Fried is the founder of Moritz Eis, an artisan ice cream business operating in Romania, Serbia and Chile. Prior to this, he worked with a small investment boutique covering Romania and Serbia, and also has spent time with two American banks. Moritz graduated from ESCP-EAP European School of Management in Paris and speaks German, English, French, Spanish and Romanian. He is also a Trustee of the Romanian charity Pro Patrimonio (UK).

Our Strategic Partners

Biodiversity conservation and community development in Transylvania