Chief of Government & International Affairs

Valarie J. McCall was named Chief of Government & International 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 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.

Ms. McCall shares her energy with her community and currently serves as Vice Chair of the American Public Transit Association’s Executive Committee; the American Public Transit Foundation and is currently Chair of the Transit Board Members Committee.  In addition, Ms. McCall serves on the boards of The Cleveland Leadership Center; The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum; Destination Cleveland (CVB); The Downtown Cleveland Improvement District; The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority; PolicyBridge; Global Cleveland; Greater Cleveland Sport’s Commission; St. Vincent Charity Development Foundation Board and the Cleveland 2016 Inc., Board, which is the Host Committee for 2016 Republican National Convention and serves as the Chair of the City of Cleveland’s RNC 2016 Special Events Committee. In addition, Ms. McCall is on the Board of the Northeast Ohio Area wide Coordinating Agency (NOACA), where she was the first African American female President.  She also served on the board of GG9 (2014 Gay Games Host Organization).

Ms. McCall serves as the Mayor’s representative to the Ohio Municipal League’s Board; 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 as an Ohio Representative on the Democratic National Committee.

Her accomplished leadership allowed Ms. McCall to travel internationally to multiple countries and serve as an American Council of Young Political Leaders Fellow to Japan.  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 Shanghai 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.  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 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 employed to 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.
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 is member of the “Best Leadership Cleveland Class Ever” of 2007. She 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 awarded 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.