CEO/WRITER/PRODUCER:  About Steve Villano

A native of Brooklyn, New York, who now lives in Northern California, Steve Villano is the former head of Governor Mario M. Cuomo’s New York City Press Office, with decades of experience in public service, public education, public health, and as CEO of several national, non-profit organizations. As a key member of Cuomo’s staff during two Presidential boomlets, Villano wrote Op-Ed pieces and worked on speeches that ranged from the First Amendment, to immigration, race relations, affordable housing, higher education, nuclear power, the environment, and ethnic stereotyping. His writing has appeared in mass circulation newspapers and magazines such as the New York Times, Newsday, The Albany Times Union, The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, the Suffolk Sun, the Napa Valley (CA.) Register Newspaper Group, the North Shore (Long Island) Newspaper Group, Working Mother Magazine, Multichannel News, Cable Fax Daily, The Jewish World, Associations Now Magazine, and Today’s Education.

Villano has published professional articles in the Federal Communications Law Journal, Free Speech (the Commission of Freedom of Speech, Speech Communication Association of America), and in Contexts: A Forum for the Medical Humanities (Institute for Medicine in Contemporary Society). His essays have been published on-line on Writers Digest, The National Memo, on Medium, and on his blog, Radical Correspondence, (

Villano has authored major pieces on ethnic stereotyping in Ambassador Magazine, (the National Italian American Foundation’s 100,000 circulation magazine) about actors Stanley Tucci, John Turturro, and the HBO series “The Sopranos.” A labor journalist for the National Education Association for a decade, Villano has written about censorship, the rise of the Far Right in America and about sweatshop conditions at cap and gown factories in New York. He developed a national Holocaust curriculum for classroom use while with the NEA, and a curriculum on Ethics in the Workplace for Cornell University’s ILR School’s Labor Studies Program, in which he taught for 22 years. His writing has received numerous awards from the Educational Press Association of America, the Long Island Press Club and the New York State Press Association, as well as a leadership award from the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health. Additionally, Villano’s digital poetry book, We, Haiku, an interactive e-book of Haiku, received a QED (Quality, Excellence & Design Award) from the Digital Book Publishers of America in 2014.  He holds a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from the State University of New York at Albany, a Masters Degree in Communications, and a Juris Doctorate (JD) from Hofstra University Law School. His newest work, the narrative, nonfiction Tightrope: Balancing a Life Between Mario Cuomo & My Brother, tells the story of his work for Mario Cuomo of New York, while his oldest brother was associated with John Gotti, Sr.  It was published in June, 2017, by Heliotrope Books (

Villano has collaborated  in writing & producing the Documentaries:  “AIDS in the 21st Century”, with Discovery Health; “Positive Voices:  Matthew Cusick: HIV and Discrimination”, with Sundance Channel, and “Women and HIV (with Gloria Reuben),” Showtime Networks. He also worked with MTV Networks on a multi-platform educational, Emmy-award winning series “AIDS at 25,” and has Executive Produced  dozens of Public Service Announcements featuring celebrity spokespeople and people with HIV/AIDS.  In collaboration with the Motorola Foundation, Villano and his team, working with a group of young people of color, created, produced and distributed via multi-media platforms a global HIV/AIDS education campaign.

Villano has guided three national non-profit organizations, raised more than $20 million in private sector money to fight HIV/AIDS and secured some $2 billion of pro-bono airtime for public service education and awareness about the disease. He has also secured private sector support for public education, public health, workforce training, and building more environmentally sustainable communities.  During that time, he  conducted, completed and implemented an Economic Impact Study, a Minority Health Initiative, Comprehensive Health Center Marketing Plans, and Strategic Plans for two major public medical centers and University Hospitals and national non-profit organizations.

In addition to his work with former New York State Governor Mario M.Cuomo, Villano advised senior executives and CEO’s in the television and motion picture industry, including Sherry Lansing, former President/CEO of Paramount Pictures, and participated in the first-ever domestic Clinton Global Initiative representing Lansing’s Encore Teachers’ Program.