Regina Calcaterra

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Regina M. Calcaterra' (born 1966) is an American attorney and author. She is an attorney working for the State of New York and formerly served as 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. She also served as Chief Deputy County Executive to Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone managing a county of 1.5 million residents, a $2.7 billion budget and a 9,500 employee workforce and was a Partner at Barrack, Rodos & Bacine, a highly ranked securities litigation firm. In July 2014, she began her appointment as as deputy general counsel to the $14 billion New York State Insurance Fund as reported in August by the Albany Times Union.[1] For over ten years, she was a frequent commentator of policy and politics appearing on CNBC, Newsday and other local media outlets.

Early life and education

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.[2] 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,[3] and later discussed these events in her New York Times Best Selling memoir, Etched in Sand (2013).

She is Board Vice President of You Gotta Believe, an organization that addresses the homeless children population by working to get foster children adopted, specifically older foster children. 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, the first case of its kind in the United States that allowed an adult child to determine their true parentage via DNA.

Calcaterra is a 1996 graduated from Seton Hall University School of Law and in 1988 she received her bachelor's in political science from SUNY New Paltz.[4]

Public Policy and Governmental Experience

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. 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 of the state's private and publicly owned utilities during several recent severe weather events, including Hurricane Irene and Hurricane Sandy.[5] The commission published two reports that included recommendations for statutory and regulatory changes related to the utility industry of which over 90% were adopted.[6]

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 was disbanded by the governor in March, 2014 after the state legislature passed a package of ethics reforms included in the annual budget. Reports of complaints and allegations of interference and a lack of independence were raised against the commission and the governors office, including accusations reported by the New York Times that Calcaterra intervened to protect the governor and individuals and organizations associated with him from scrutiny or investigation. Among those raising concerns about the commission were former commissioners, the former chief investigator for the commission, and the United States Attorney for Manhattan, Preet Bharara.[7] CIPC's investigations have led to continued investigations into state elected officials.


Calcaterra is the 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.. It has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning - the Science of Survival segment, Inside Edition, the New York Post, New York Law Journal, People Magazine, Newsday > other media outlets.

State Senate Campaign

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. As reported by the local newspaper The Suffolk Times, two courts ruled that Calcaterra was ineligible to appear on the ballot due to residency requirements; Calcaterra, who had registered to vote in Pennsylvania and filed non-resident tax returns in New York, had not lived in the state for the five consecutive years required by election law.[8][9]