John Racanelli became the CEO of the National Aquarium in July 2011.
John has spent nearly 20 years in leadership positions with major US aquariums. He was the first CEO of the Florida Aquarium in Tampa, where he built the facility, team and vision for Tampa Bay’s leading cultural attraction. Prior to that, he served for nine years on the leadership team of the Monterey Bay Aquarium as its VP of Marketing and Development, joining the aquarium a year before its opening. John has also been a senior executive at Hornblower Cruises & Events and Academy Studios, an exhibit design and fabrication firm.
John has dedicated his career to ocean conservation and awareness. A California native, he has been involved in statewide conservation issues and served on the boards of several organizations focused on the ocean and San Francisco Bay. His love of the sea runs deep—he is an ocean sailor, SCUBA diver, surfer and open water swimmer who has made the storied Alcatraz crossing 12 times.
John majored in environmental planning at the University of California and holds a degree in Strategic Management from Dominican University of California. He and his family live in Baltimore, MD.