In this article we discuss the necessity of the special reforms in Russia — the socio-ecological modernization — and describe the important part of its success: environmental leadership. Such reforms in Russia and actors who would have sufficient capacity to realize these changes have a point of intersection in a special type of social elite — environmental leaders. With experience and life values, acquired as a result of many years of work and special milieu of communication, education and knowledge exchange — they could become catalysts of positive changes in the habitat and the social order. The importance of their role in the socio-ecological modernization refers to the uniqueness of civil and professional qualities, which become a good basis for participation in the socio-ecological modernization and the transfer of experience to the rest of the social elite. A multirole leader focused on the practice, scientific research and public policy operates simultaneously in local, group and global networks being a glocal actor. This is a specific type of moral and ethical professional, implementing his/her civic responsibility in various forms of education, training and mobilization social technologies. These universal specialists are an important resource for the development of Russian civil society and local initiatives. The environmental leaders identified in the article differ from the usual consumption and pseudo-optimization leaders. This is a unique human type understanding what is happening «at the bottom», in real conflicts of local, national and global forces and knowing how to translate this situation to the language of political decisions. These properties are unique and irreplaceable for social and ecological modernization in Russia.

Keywords: civil society, eco-sociology, leaders, opportunities, potential, resources, socioecological modernization, Russia