Regina Calcaterra

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Regina M Calcaterra
Born November 9, 1966
New York
Alma mater Seton Hall, SUNY New Paltz
Occupation Securities attorney, state government executive

Regina M. Calcaterra (born 1966) is an American attorney and a New York Times Best Selling author. She is a partner at Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman and Herz [1] and formerly served as Deputy General Counsel to the New York State Insurance Fund [2] and the executive director to two recent New York State Moreland Commissions, including the Utility Storm Preparedness and Response Commission and the Commission to Investigate Public Corruption. Her state appointments followed her service as Chief Deputy County Executive to Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone. She is also an advocate for foster children and formerly served as a frequent commentator of policy and politics appearing on CNBC, Newsday, and other local media outlets.[3][4][5]

Early life and education[edit]

Calcaterra was born and raised in Suffolk County, N.Y. with her four siblings, she grew up largely in and out of homelessness and foster care when abandoned by their single mother. Throughout her youth there were several weeks and months at a time where she was the sole caregiver of her younger siblings.[6] At the age of 14, she legally emancipated herself from her mother; she then aged out of foster care, at the age of 21 while putting herself through college,[7] and later discussed these events in her memoir, Etched in Sand (2013).

She serves as a board member of You Gotta Believe, an organization that addresses the homeless children population by working to get foster children adopted, specifically older foster children and the SUNY New Paltz Foundation Board. Regina is often asked to speak to international, national, and local organizations on the need to change policy towards preparing older foster children for potential adoption.

Calcaterra was the plaintiff in the case In Re Parentage Regina M. Calcaterra,[8] the first case of its kind in the United States that allowed an adult child to determine their true parentage via DNA paternity testing.

Calcaterra received a bachelor's degree in political science from SUNY New Paltz.[9] in 1988 and graduated from Seton Hall University School of Law in 1996.

Public policy and governmental experience[edit]

Calcaterra served as Chief Deputy to the Suffolk County Executive where she managed a county of over 1.6 million residents, a $2.7 billion annual budget and a 9500 employee workforce.[10] During her tenure she managed the county’s fiscal crisis and oversaw the county’s day-to-day operations and its immediate response and recovery to Superstorm Sandy.

In November 2012, Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed Calcaterra executive director of the newly convened Moreland Commission on Utility Storm Preparation and Response. The commission, authorized by the Moreland Act of the early 20th century, was constituted to investigate emergency management and preparedness following the controversial performance of all six publicly traded power companies and the one quasi-governmental power company during several recent severe weather events, including Hurricane Irene and Hurricane Sandy.[11] The commission released two published reports, the Interim Report in January 2013 and the Final Report in June 2013. Both reports include the results of the commission's findings and policy recommendations many of which were implemented to strengthen utility storm preparedness and response throughout the state.[12]

In July 2013, Calcaterra was again appointed by Governor Cuomo to serve as executive director of a commission, this time the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption. The CIPC was created to look into allegations of corruption among elected officials, and was a response to a steady stream of arrests and convictions of state officials and members of the New York State legislature. The commission issued a report of their findings that included recommendations to create an independent enforcement unit at the NYS Board of Elections, strengthen public corruption laws and address campaign finance reform. [13] The commission was disbanded by the governor in March 2014, after the state legislature passed some of the Commissions recommendations in the annual budget. In August 2014, Governor Cuomo appointed Calcaterra deputy general counsel to the New York State Insurance Fund.[14]


Calcaterra is the co-author of Girl Unbroken, A Sister's Harrowing Story of Survival from the Streets of Long Island to the Farms of Idaho which she wrote with her sister Rosie Maloney and was published in October 2016. She is also author of the New York Times Best Selling memoir Etched in Sand which tells how she and her siblings survived an abusive childhood, the foster-care system, and intermittent homelessness.[15] It has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning - the Science of Survival segment,[16] Inside Edition,[17] the New York Post,[18] People magazine, Newsday,[19] and other media outlets. Etched in Sand has been incorporated into the curriculum of colleges and high schools and has been chosen as One College/One Read at several US colleges. Etched in Sand was released in August 2013 by HarperCollins Publishers, under Lisa Sharkey's Creative Development team.

State Senate campaign[edit]

In early 2010, Calcaterra, a Democrat, announced her candidacy for New York State Senate for the First Senatorial District. Her opponent was state Sen. Kenneth LaValle, a 34-year incumbent. She campaigned actively on several issues, including ethics reform in New York State government, fair share of state services for Long Island, and changes to the state's school aid formula that would also bring property tax relief to Suffolk County.[citation needed]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ (2009-09-01). "Bonus Bashing." Video.
  4. ^ Calcaterra, Regina M. (2010-12-14). "Tax Package Would Help Suburbs." Retrieved 2015-09-25.
  5. ^ Calcaterra, Regina (2011-05-25). "Guest Spot: We Must Pass the State Tax Cap Test." The Suffolk Times ( Retrieved 2015-09-25.
  6. ^ Bulls & Bears, Fox News Channel. June 13, 2009.
  7. ^ Shultz, Erin (2011-03-30). "Reintroducing Regina Calcaterra, Foster Child Advocate." North Fork Patch ( Retrieved 2015-09-28.
  8. ^ In Re: The Parentage of Regina Marie Calcaterra (2002-10-28). Court of Appeals of Washington (accessed via Retrieved 2015-09-28.
  9. ^ New Paltz magazine, May 2014, p. 22.
  10. ^ Brand, Rick (2011-12-01). "Bellone Taps Calcaterra for Deputy Exec." Retrieved 2015-09-28.
  11. ^ "Moreland Panel's Regina Calcaterra to Leave Suffolk Job." Newsday ( Retrieved 2013-01-07.
  12. ^ McGeehan, Patrick (2013-06-22). "Long Island Power Authority Scrutinized Over Consulting Fees." The New York Times ( Retrieved 2015-09-23.
  13. ^ Commission to Investigate Public Corruption, State of New York (2013-12-02). Preliminary Report (via NY.Gov). Retrieved 2016-03-16
  14. ^
  15. ^ Finn, Lisa (2014-05-30). "New Suffolk’s Regina Calcaterra’s ‘Etched in Sand’ rises to #4 on NYT Best Seller List." Retrieved 2015-10-13.
  16. ^ "The Science of Survival" (2013-10-20). Retrieved 2015-10-13.
  17. ^ "'Etched In Sand' Documents Attorney Overcoming Brutal, Homeless Childhood" (2013-08-16). Retrieved 2015-10-13.
  18. ^ "I Was Homeless--Now I'm Fabulous" (2013-08-06). Retrieved 2015-10-13.
  19. ^ Janison, Dan (2013-03-17). "HarperCollins publishes Suffolk attorney's story of a painful past." Retrieved 2015-10-13.

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