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Party Committee

San Mateo County Democratic PartyCandidate for County Central Committee, Supervisorial District 2

Photo of Pamela O'Leary

Pamela O'Leary

Nonprofit Director
7,518 votes (12.6%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Equality
  • Affordable Housing
  • Support seniors



Profession:Nonprofit Director
Director of Sponsor Development, Uniting Professional Women Accelerating Relationships and Development (UPWARD) (2015–current)
Commissioner, Planning Commission, City of San Mateo — Appointed position (2015–current)
Commissioner, Commission on Aging, County of San Mateo — Appointed position (2015–current)

Community Activities

Board of Directors, Peninsula Democratic Coalition (2016–current)


Pamela is the youngest candidate running for San Mateo County Democratic Central Committee (SMCDCC).  In January 2016, the SMCDCC membership elected her to the position of Recording Secretary.  She also currently serves on the City of San Mateo Planning Commission, County of San Mateo Commission on Aging, and the board of the Peninsula Democratic Coalition.

Pamela O'Leary is the Director of Sponsor Development at UPWARD, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing executive women. She has been an Adjunct Instructor at American University and Trinity Washington University, where she taught courses on women’s leadership, gender and politics, and nonprofit management. Pamela is the former Executive Director of the Public Leadership Education Network. She currently serves on the Advisory Council for Running Start and facilitates a Women in Management (WIM) group at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

In 2013, she was invited to participate as an Expert at United Nations meetings in Geneva and New York for the UN System-Wide Action Plan (SWAP) for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. At the US House of Representatives, she proposed and led efforts to successfully pass a resolution condemning rape in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (H Res 1227, 110th).

Pamela has been featured in the The Los Angeles Times, National Journal, Washington Post, and ForbesWoman. She was profiled in Joanne Cleaver's book The Career Lattice as a case study of a high achieving millennial. Pamela has a M.A. in Applied Women's Studies from Claremont Graduate University, and a B.A. in Environmental Science from the University of California, Berkeley. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Human & Organizational Development, focusing on women’s leadership, at Fielding Graduate University.

Twitter : @olearypd
Blog :

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Assemblymember Kevin Mullin

Organizations (1)

  • Peninsula Young Democrats (PYD)

Elected Officials (9)

  • Chelsea Bonini, San Mateo-Foster City School Board of Trustees
  • Audrey Ng, San Mateo-Foster City School Board of Trustees
  • Council Member Davina Hurt, City of Belmont
  • Council Member Charles Stone, City of Belmont
  • Council Member Maureen Freschet, City of San Mateo
  • Council Member Rick Bonilla, City of San Mateo
  • Council Member Diane Papan, City of San Mateo
  • Mayor Eric Reed, City of Belmont
  • Mayor Joe Goethals, City of San Mateo

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

I wholeheartedly believe the best way to change the world is to empower women leaders and those from underrepresented communities! I've dedicated my career to building inclusive communities, whether that's inside the classroom, with a nonprofit, or advocating for equality at various governmental entities. 

My favorite learning moments are when I'm the only or one of the few White people in the room, praying with others from another faith, or trying my best to speak a language foreign to me, but dominant of the group I'm in.  My career adventures have taken me to Capitol Hill, the United Nations, Stanford GSB, and serving as an executive director and adjunct instructor. While we are far from achieving true equality in the world, I'll keep trying everyday!

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