John M. Viola Resigns as President and COO of NIAF


Danielle DeSimone
National Italian American Foundation

(Washington, D.C. – September 25, 2017) The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) announces the resignation of John M. Viola, president and chief operating officer of NIAF, effective December 31, 2017. The NIAF Board has begun a search for Viola’s successor.

“John Viola’s leadership of NIAF connected the successor generation with its Italian culture, heritage and values,” said NIAF Co-Chair Patricia De Stacy Harrison. “His passion for NIAF’s mission and purpose will continue to shape our vision for the future.”

“John’s passion for the Italian American heritage and culture, and his leadership have enhanced and expanded the mission of NIAF,” said NIAF Co-Chair, Gabriel A. Battista.

“I am so humbled to have been able to serve this Foundation that I have loved since the first time I walked into a NIAF gala at age 17,” said John M. Viola. “For my entire life, I have been passionate about Italian American history and culture, so this was always my dream job, and I hope my efforts over the past six years have been worthy of this community I’m so proud to be a part of. Italian American culture has a bright future, and I am looking forward to finding new ways to serve our community for decades to come.”

A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., and a graduate of Fordham University, Viola was hired as the foundation’s Chief Operating Officer in February, of 2012, and elected president a year later. He is the first president in the Foundation’s four-decade history elected from its Board of Directors.  Viola is also the United States Delegate for the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George, one of the oldest Chivalric Orders in the world.

Previously, Viola served on NIAF’s Italian American Youth Activities Committee, worked as a marketing and acquisitions consultant with, and co-founded ELITE Learning of Brooklyn, a non-profit organization dedicated to the fundamental reform and improvement of inner-city education. He also co-founded and served as general director of the Pope John Paul II Family Academy in Brooklyn, N.Y., and was director of the Madonna della Neve Foundation.

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to preserving, promoting and protecting the Italian American heritage and culture. To learn more about the Foundation and become a member, please visit