The APTA Executive Committee is comprised of individuals who are elected by APTA members to act on behalf of the full APTA Board of Directors, when the full board is not in session.
Dr. Valarie J. McCall
Member, Board of Trustees
Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority
Annual Meeting Speech and Video
Valarie J. McCall was elected Chair of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA)
Board of Directors in October 2015.
Throughout her career in government and community
service, the issues of mobility and access have been consistent priorities.
As a member of the board of trustees of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority
(GCRTA) since 2006, McCall has been very active in APTA, holding increasingly influential
positions. She has served as vice chair of APTA’s Executive Committee and chaired APTA’s
Diversity Council. A long-time member of APTA’s Transit Board Members Committee, she
served as its secretary and chair. McCall also is a member of the American Public
Transportation Foundation’s board of directors and APTA’s Legislative Committee. She has
served on APTA’s Strategic Plan Task Force and Authorization Task Force.
McCall is the first person to be named Chief of Government & International Affairs for the City
of Cleveland, OH. In this role, she is Mayor Frank Jackson’s liaison to local and state
governments, federal agencies and international organizations, as well as the Mayor’s primary
representative to several national organizations, including the U.S. Conference of Mayors,
National League of Cities, and National Black Caucus of Local and Elected Officials.
Her many duties include overseeing the Jackson Administration’s appointments to internal and
external boards and commissions, and helping to implement the Mayor’s policies to promote
regional growth and cooperation. In addition to her domestic responsibilities, McCall has
represented the Mayor and the City of Cleveland at overseas conferences in China, France,
Germany, Greece and Japan, and at the United Nations International Development
Organization. She is a Fellow at the German Marshall Fund and the American Council of Young
Prior to being appointed to her current position, McCall served as the Cleveland City Council’s
youngest City Clerk and Clerk of Council in the city’s history. As the chief administrative officer
for the City Council, she streamlined the processing of legislation, built an effective
management team, and reorganized day-to-day operations to achieve greater efficiencies.
Before becoming the Clerk of Council, McCall was Cleveland’s Director of the Empowerment
Zone in which she managed a $200 million budget, supervised the distribution of funds for job
training and placement initiatives, and oversaw direct lending programs to businesses in four
In addition to her governance roles with APTA and the GCRTA, McCall holds positions on several
other boards, including The Cleveland Leadership Center, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and
Museum, Downtown Cleveland Improvement District, Greater Cleveland Sports Commission,
Global Cleveland, and St. Vincent Charity Development Foundation, among others.
Other distinctions include:
- Chair of the City of Cleveland’s RNC 2016 Special Events Committee and board member of Cleveland 2016 Inc., the host committee for the 2016 Republican National Convention;
- First African-American female president of the Northeast Ohio Area Coordinating Agency;
- Recipient of numerous leadership awards and recognitions by Rotary Club International, Crain’s Cleveland Business, Ebony magazine and Kaleidoscope magazine to name a few;
- Host of “Government Affairs: A Closer Look,” a public affairs television show about Cleveland area community issues.
A native Clevelander, McCall earned both a BA in social work and a Master’s degree in public
administration from Cleveland State University. The university awarded her an honorary
Doctor of Public Servicehonoris causa (with all Rights, Privileges and Honors). She grew up
using the city’s public transportation system, which she credits with providing her with access
to life-changing opportunities.