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Erin McCallum | Assistant Secretary

Class of 1989, Bachelor of Arts, Political Science

Headshot: Erin McCallum

Why I Serve

I’m a Washington State native who grew up in Yakima. My parents and grandparents are all UW graduates and another branch of the family represents the WSU Cougars. We’re a house divided! In truth, though, my family has always been proud of the state’s entire university system and the amazing opportunities afforded to students. There was never any question that I would attend UW.

As a UW student, I was exposed to diverse opinions and ideologies that often differed from my hometown community. That was definitely true in the political science department. I did not always agree with my professors’ political beliefs and ideas. However, it opened my mind to seeing different perspectives. I had to write papers representing viewpoints other than my own. That ability to approach topics objectively made quite an impression and still serves me well 30 years later.

UW has been a strong foundational thread in my personal and professional lives. I want to be a fearless advocate for the university’s mission to engage students from across the state and elsewhere. UW’s impact is a ripple effect that benefits the region’s economy, future, and overall quality of life.


Erin McCallum has spent 25 years raising more than $162 million for high-profile community organizations in the Northwest region and is a proven leader in non-profit and political fund-raising communities. She is an active volunteer with several nonprofit and community organizations including the Snoqualmie Valley Rotary, Washington State STEM Education Innovation Alliance and Board of Directors for the Girl Scouts of Western Washington She currently serves as president of FIRST Washington the largest after school K-12 STEM program in the state. The mentors, coaches, and volunteers are the people who inspire her every day as they work to ignite and excite Washington youth to find their passion for STEM inspire innovation, and foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication and leadership.