An asset to the Jackson Administration, Ms. Valarie J. McCall was named Chief of Government Affairs by Mayor Frank Jackson. In this position, Ms. McCall serves as the Administration’s primary liaison to local and state governments, and all federal and international agencies and organizations. Ms. McCall oversees and administers the Jackson Administration’s appointments to internal and external boards and commissions. Ms. McCall is the Mayor’s primary representative to several national organizations, including, but not limited to: the United States Conference of Mayors; National Conference of Black Mayors; National League of Cities and the National Black Caucus of Local and Elected Officials, to name a few. She is also charged with assisting Mayor Jackson with the implementation of his policy initiatives designed to promote regional growth and cooperation, both nationally and internationally.
In addition to her civic duties, Ms. McCall shares her energy with her community; she is currently President of the Board of Directors for the Northeast Ohio Area wide Coordinating Agency (NOACA), as its first African American female President. Ms. McCall also serves on the boards of The Cleveland Leadership Center; The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum; Positively Cleveland, Visitors & Convention Bureau; The Downtown Cleveland Improvement District, The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority; PolicyBridge, a local think tank, Cleveland Council on World Affairs Board of Trustees; GG9 (2014 Gay Games Host Organization) Global Cleveland and The St. Vincent Charity Development Foundation Board. Ms. McCall also services on the American Public Transit Association’s Transit Board of Directors; the American Public Transit Foundation and is currently the Vice Chair of the Transit Board Members Executive Committee and Vice Chair of the Transit Board Members Legislative Committee.
Ms. McCall serves as the Mayor’s representative to the Ohio Municipal League’s Board; Board of the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (Five County Metropolitan Planning Organization); Cuyahoga County Mayor’s and Managers Association and the Northeast Ohio Mayors & Managers Association. Ms. McCall serves on the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs Visiting Committee; the Government Affairs Committees of the United Way of Cleveland and the Center for Families & Children and has served as a member of the advisory board of Cleveland State University’s Center for Nonprofit Policy & Practice. Ms. McCall serves on the Executive Committees of both the Cuyahoga County & Ohio Democratic Parties and was recently appointed to the Democratic National Committee.
Ms. McCall is a member of the “Best Leadership Cleveland Class Ever” of 2007. Her accomplished leadership allowed Ms. McCall to travel to Japan with the American Council of Young Political Leaders. Ms. McCall attended several briefings on US/Japan relations over the last 150 years, the state of Japan’s politics, diplomacy and economy and met top ranking officials from Japan’s three political parties, the Democratic Party of Japan, the Liberal Democratic Party and the New Komeito Party. Informal gatherings with Japan’s leaders allowed Ms. McCall to discuss international politics and local policies in a way that personalized these relations. The experience expanded Ms. McCall’s knowledge of international relations and allowed her to compare the policies, strategies and day-to-dayoperations of Japanese and American local governments. Ms. McCall, has traveled to China, where she was a panel member at the United Nations International Development Organization’s Conference on Urban Agglomerations, which took place in Nanning, China and included a tour and meetings with high level officials in both Shanghi and Beijing. Ms. McCall serves as a member of the Rouen Business Schools International Panel, which is located in Cleveland’s Sister City in Rouen, France.
Ms. McCall’s energy and enthusiasm for civic affairs has not gone unnoticed. In 2003, Ms. McCall became an American Marshall Fellow of the German Marshall Fund, which fosters transatlantic partnerships to build international relations. Ms. McCall traveled to the Europe with the German Marshall Fund in the spring of 2003 in order to visit the headquarters of the European Union and NATO in Brussels, to examine European institutions, and to study trans-Atlantic economic, political and social issues. Ms. McCall met with European Union leaders in Prague, Czech, Hamburg and Berlin, Germany, Athens, Greece and other important European cities.
She had the opportunity to tour the Olympic headquarters in Athens before the 2004 Summer Games, which allowed her to examine organizational methods employedto bring about the games, and she was in Berlin at the onset of the Iraqi War, which allowed her to take in initial European views of the war firsthand. Ms. McCall gained knowledge of Europe’s regional social and economic issues through this experience, which she has been able to incorporate into the ways she assists Clevelanders in achieving their goals.
Prior to being named Chief of Government Affairs to the Jackson Administration, Ms. McCall served as Cleveland City Council’s youngest City Clerk, Clerk of Council in the City’s history. Ms. McCall brought energy and structure to the offices of Cleveland City Council. Sworn in to the office in May 2002, Ms. McCall streamlined the processing of legislation, installed an effective management team and reorganized the day-to-day operations of the office to maximize efficiency.
As Clerk of Council, Ms. McCall was the chief administrative officer for the Office of Cleveland City Council. Her duties included supervising the recording and retention of all official reports, communications and transcripts delivered to Council and the certification of all legislation. In addition, Ms. McCall oversaw Cleveland City Council’s staff of 41, while interacting with the 21 Council Members and their assistants. She effectively ensured that Council ran at maximum capacity and efficiency.
Prior to becoming the Clerk of Council, Ms. McCall served as the City of Cleveland’s Director of the Empowerment Zone, where she was responsible for a $200 million budget. As Director, she supervised the distribution of funds for job training and placement programs, as well as direct lending programs that assisted businesses in four targeted neighborhoods.
Ms. McCall was honored as the Woman of Color Foundation’s “STAR” Professional Woman of the Year. She was presented with the International Service Award from the Rotary Club of Cleveland; in addition, her achievements earned her the prestigious Cleveland State University’s 2003 Alumni Emerging Leadership Award.
Ms. McCall was also recognized by Ebony Magazine as a 2002-2003 Young Leader of the Future, was featured as one of Crain’s Cleveland Business’ 40 under 40 and elected to Kaleidoscope Magazine’s 40/40 Club in 2002. Ms. McCall is the Host of an Advocacy show titled, “Government Affairs: A Closer Look” in which she interviews local officials on issues critical to the citizens of Cleveland. Ms. McCall served as Chairwoman of Mayor Jackson’s 2006 Inaugural Committee, where she oversaw all planning aspects of the Inaugural Activities and Swearing in Ceremony.
A native Clevelander, Ms McCall grew up in the Glenville neighborhood and graduated from Martin Luther King Law & Public Services Magnet High School. A former licensed social worker, she has a bachelor’s degree in social work from Cleveland State University and a master’s degree in public administration from Cleveland State University’s Levin College of Urban Affairs. In addition, Ms. McCall’s was recently honored an Honorary Doctor of Public Service Degree honoris causa (with all Rights, Privileges and Honors pertaining thereto) by Cleveland State University.
Ms. McCall is a member of The Word Church, with Pastor R.A. Vernon and resides in the beautiful City of Cleveland, Ohio, USA.