John Kostyack, Executive Director

John Kostyack became the Wind Energy Foundation’s Executive Director in September 2014. Kostyack has held senior roles at the nexus of climate change, energy, and wildlife for the past 20 years at the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and served on the American Wind Wildlife Institute board of directors for the past 3 years.


While serving as Vice President at the NWF, Kostyack was deeply engaged on energy and climate change issues, including helping wind industry leaders to find responsible ways to site and operate wind turbines, organizing executives to get active on climate change, and helping develop nature-friendly solutions for communities grappling with climate change impacts.


In previous posts at the NWF, Kostyack conceived and led the first national conference on climate-smart conservation and helped establish NWF as a recognized leader in that field; he oversaw NWF’s wildlife advocacy before Congress, the federal agencies and the courts; and he served as lead counsel in landmark legal cases that protected endangered species, including representing 72 wildlife conservation groups in the first-ever global warming case to reach the U.S. Supreme Court.


He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Virginia and a law degree from Stetson University, after which he clerked for U.S. District Judge Susan Black in Jacksonville, Fla. As an associate attorney for Steptoe & Johnson in Washington, D.C., he won precedent-setting pro bono victories in environmental and housing cases while representing large corporate clients in a wide array of litigation.


He is the co-author of several publications in the environmental field, including, Natural Defenses to Hurricanes and Floods: Protecting American’s Communities and Ecosystems in an Era of Extreme Weather; and Endangered by Sprawl, the first national study to quantify the impact of sprawl on biodiversity and put forward alternate approaches to development.