Audra Pavilcius Karalius - Attorney at Law

Audra Pavilcius Karalius

Of Counsel
(312) 219-8540


BS, Chemistry, DePaul University, 1974

MS, Chemistry, DePaul University, 1975

JD, Loyola University School of Law, 1981

Bar Admissions

State of Illinois

United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Certified Professional Environmental Auditor

Contact Info

Audra Pavilcius Karalius has successfully managed legal and business opportunities at Nalco Chemical Company, Argonne National Laboratory and Sara Lee Corporation. She has served as Corporate Counsel, Vice President, Sustainability, Environment and Safety and Chief Environment, Health & Safety (ESH) Counsel. She excels at evaluating complex business issues, regulatory requirements and risks, sustainability trends and developing insightful, comprehensive business solutions.

Audra has extensive experience in corporate, sustainability, environmental, safety, health, labor, employment, and ethics compliance program development. Skills include sustainability issue materiality analyses, sustainability program development and reporting, social responsibility issues, ESH gap analyses, risk assessments, policy creation and program implementation. She is adept at dealing with various stakeholders and non-governmental (NGO) and governmental agencies. Audra has managed due diligence and contract term negotiations for numerous major corporate transactions, including acquisitions and divestitures.

Representative Matters

  • Sustainability
    • Former Vice President, Sustainability, Environment and Safety at Sara Lee Corporation.
    • Designed, implemented and led global sustainability programs in the food industry that provided businesses with new opportunities, solidified customer relationships, enhanced business performance, improved public perception and increased economic value.
    • Created transparent internal and external stakeholder engagement about the corporate sustainability programs and progress including authoring four (4) annual sustainability reports.
    • Led engagement with key sustainability stakeholders, i.e., customers, non-governmental organizations, investors, financial institutions and ranking and rating organizations, resulting in improved customer relationships and public recognition for the sustainability/CSR programs.
  • Environmental & Safety
    • Former Vice President, Environment, Health and Safety at Nalco Chemical Company.
    • Managed environmental, health, and safety compliance globally.
    • Provided environmental legal advice, responded to and negotiated resolutions with governmental agency (EPA, OSHA, state, local, MWRD) inquiries, and represented the company in non-compliance situations with respect to environmental and safety matters.
    • Built and refocused environmental compliance programs to minimize liabilities while accepting strategic risk, being cost-effective and supporting business needs.
    • Managed site remediation liabilities.
  • Regulatory Compliance
    • Counseled clients in general business matters, including corporate governance and regulatory environmental, safety, labor, employment, and employee benefit compliance.
    • Represented corporate interests and ensured compliance with EPA, OSHA, FDA, DOE, DOL, & EEOC.
    • Represented companies with respect to safety violations.
  • Corporate
    • Former Corporate Counsel at Nalco Chemical Company.
    • Adept at evaluating complex business and legal issues, trends, requirements and risks, and developing insightful, comprehensive business solutions. Drafted and negotiated business acquisition agreements, services contracts and leases.
    • Due diligence.

Activies & Associations

  • Audra is an Adjunct Professor at Kendall College, teaching sustainability related classes.
  • Audra is a recognized conference speaker, presenter on the topic of sustainability strategies and implementation. She has held leadership positions on the Consumer Goods Forum Sustainability Steering Committee; the GMA Sustainability Leadership Group; the GMA Staff Working Group on Sustainability; the GMA/FMI Food Waste Opportunities & Challenges Leadership Committee. She has also founded and chaired two food industry sustainability peer groups. She has established effective transparent public communication and dialogue about sustainability/CSR progress and authored 4 annual sustainability reports; available at Sustainability.aspx.
  • Audra is also a leader in legal and community organizations.
  • Board Member, the Lithuanian Foundation ($30 million in assets)
  • Board Member, the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Engineering Advisory Board
  • Past Vice Chair, Public Service, American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources In-house Counsel Committee
  • Cabrini Green Legal Aid volunteer
  • Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago, Lawyers in the Classroom volunteer
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