Kathy Dahlkemper took office as Erie County Executive on January 7, 2014. After being re-elected to the office 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.
She 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 Congress. During her tenure, 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 of L.E.A.F. the multi-use urban park became a community hub in Erie.
Dahlkemper serves on the National Association of Counties International Economic Development Task Force and the Community, Economic and Workforce Development Committee. She was appointed by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf to serve on the Great Lakes Commission, as well as on the state’s Redistricting Reform Commission. She serves as second vice president for the County Executives of America, on the Board of the Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) and on the Advisory Board of the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics.
Dahlkemper and her husband, Dan, have five children and nine grandchildren. They live in the city of Erie.