Chief of Government & International Affairs

Valarie J. McCall is the Chief of Communications, Government & International Affairs for the City of Cleveland and Mayor Frank G. Jackson. McCall serves as the Jackson administration’s primary liaison to local and state government, federal agencies and international organizations. She also oversees the administration’s appointments to internal and external boards and commissions, and helps implement the Mayor’s policies to promote regional growth and cooperation. McCall also oversees the City of Cleveland’s communications strategy, media relations and brand identity.

McCall is the Mayor’s primary representative to several national organizations, including the U.S. Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities and the National Black Caucus of Local and Elected Officials. She is also past chair of the American Public Transit Association’s Executive Committee (board member emeritus).

McCall serves on the board of several Cleveland-based organizations including the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Destination Cleveland, The Downtown Cleveland Improvement District, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, Global Cleveland, Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and was the City lead for the 2016 Republican National Convention Host Committee. She is also on the board of the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency and served as the first African American female president –with a second term as chair in 2019. She was also a member of the 2014 Gay Games Cleveland host committee.

McCall serves as the Jackson administration’s representative to the Ohio Municipal League, Cuyahoga County Mayor’s & Managers Association and the Northeast Ohio Mayors & Managers Association. She is also a member of the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs Visiting Committee, a former member of the Cleveland State University Center for Nonprofit Policy & Practice advisory board and is a current member of the Cleveland State University (CSU) Center for Population Dynamics.

In addition to her domestic responsibilities, McCall represents the Jackson administration and the City of Cleveland overseas, including many of Cleveland’s sister cities. She is as a former panel member at the United Nations International Development Organization’s Conference on Urban Agglomerations and a former member of the Rouen Business School International Panel. McCall has traveled to Europe, meeting with leaders in the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Belgium, and Italy. She has also represented Cleveland in China and Japan. She is an American Council of Young Political Leaders Fellow and an American Marshall Fellow.

Prior to her roles in the Jackson administration, McCall served as Cleveland City Council’s youngest City Clerk and Clerk of Council. As its chief administrative officer, she streamlined the legislation process, installed a strong management team and increased the efficiency of office operations.

McCall is also the City’s former Director of the Empowerment Zone, overseeing a more than $200 million budget. She successfully supervised the distribution of funds for job training and placement programs, as well as direct lending programs to assist neighborhood businesses.

McCall is a recipient of numerous accolades including the prestigious Cleveland State University Alumni Emerging Leadership Award, Ebony Magazine Young Leader of the Future award, Crain's Cleveland Business 40 under 40 award, Kaleidoscope Magazines 40/40 Club, Rotary Club of Cleveland International Service award, Lifetime Achievement award from the Liberia Economic Development Initiative, U.S. Secret Service Appreciation award, Cleveland State University Young Public Administrator of the Year award, Smart Business Magazine Progressive Woman award, the Sales & Marketing Executives Distinguished Marketing and Sales award, and the Conference of Minority Transportation ‘Women Who Move the Nation’ award. She is also a member of the ‘Best Leadership Cleveland Class Ever’ and is the Woman of Color Foundation’s “STAR” Professional Woman of the Year.

McCall is the former host of “Government Affairs: A Closer Look” a public affairs television show about local community issues. She served as chairwoman of Mayor Jackson’s 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018 inaugural committees, overseeing all planning aspects of the inaugural activities and ceremonies.

McCall held several jobs early in her career which helped prepare her for future positions. Her first was at McDonald’s where she learned the value of customer service, leadership, punctuality and preparedness.

McCall is a native Clevelander and a graduate of Martin Luther King Law & Public Services Magnet High School. She holds a bachelor's degree in social work and a master's degree in public administration from Cleveland State University. The university awarded her with an honorary doctor of public service degree honoris causa (with all rights, privileges and honors).

McCall resides in the beautiful city of Cleveland, Ohio, USA with her dogs Kapono and Barack.

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