Lecturers at the Jefferson Educational Society

Kathy Dahlkemper
Former US House Representative

Kathy Dahlkemper took office as Erie County Executive on January 7, 2014. After being re-elected in November 2017, she was sworn in to her second four-year term on January 2, 2018.

Dahlkemper was elected on a platform to create a more efficient, effective and transparent county government. She continues to work to streamline county operations; to improve collaboration, both within county departments and among community organizations; and to help build a more vibrant Erie County for all residents.

Dahlkemper previously represented Pennsylvania’s 3rd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, serving from 2009 to 2011. She was the first woman elected from the district to this position. During her tenure in Congress, she authored the Young Invincibles legislation, which allows young adults to remain on their parents’ health insurance up to age 26 under the Affordable Care Act.

Born and raised in Erie, Dahlkemper earned a bachelor’s degree in dietetics from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, and worked as a clinical dietitian and later in human resources. In 1998, she and her husband co-founded the nonprofit Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park (L.E.A.F.). Under Dahlkemper’s 10-year leadership as executive director, L.E.A.F. raised more than $2 million for improvements to Frontier Park, creating a multi-use urban park that has become a community hub in Erie.

On a national level, Dahlkemper serves on the National Association of Counties-National League of Cities taskforce on the opioid epidemic, the only representative from Pennsylvania in the group. She is also the second vice president for the County Executives of America. She also was appointed by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf to the Local Government Advisory Committee, and she serves on the board for the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics.

Dahlkemper and her husband, Dan, live in the city of Erie.