John F. Calvelli

Executive Vice President of Public Affairs

Photo Credit: ©WCS

John F. Calvelli is the WCS Executive Vice President of Public Affairs. John serves on WCS's Executive Management team that manages the overall organization and is leading their effort to build a conservation movement that will inspire and engage the public in support of its mission.

Prior to joining WCS, John served as the Washington Chief of Staff and Counsel to Congressman Eliot Engel, having oversight responsibility for Congressional, administrative office functions and overseeing, directing, and supervising all legislative initiatives.

John graduated from Fordham University and earned a law degree from Fordham Law School. He was a founder and is currently the Chair of the International Conservation Partnership and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Government Affairs Committee as well as Vice Chair of the New York City Tourism+Conventions and the National Italian American Foundation. He also serves on the board of the Public Affairs Council, St. Joseph’s Medical Center, the Steering Committee of the Association for a Better New York and is the Past Chair of the New York City Cultural Institutions Group.

During his time at WCS, John has played a leadership role in innovative policy campaigns such as 96 Elephants that led to the closure of ivory markets in the United States and raised the profile of wildlife trafficking as a major threat to wildlife populations. As Chair of the AZA Government Affairs Committee, he has worked with a national committee of policy and government relations professionals to revamp the organization’s advocacy efforts.

John is married to Maria DiMeo Calvelli and their son John Domenico, a recent graduate of Brown University, is completing his Masters in Video Game Design at New York University. The Republic of Italy bestowed the honorific title of Knighthood in the Order of Merit for his work promoting stronger US-Italy relations.

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