Kelly Callihan is the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association.
Kelly is a career prosecutor and former district attorney who has spent 28 years seeking justice for victims in both Cambria and Dauphin counties. During her career, Callihan prosecuted countless child abuse cases, felony sexual assaults and violent crimes in both juvenile and adult courts. She also spearheaded the creation of programs and task forces designed to enhance services for victims in the criminal justice system while working to build treatment courts to address offenders needs and non-profit organizations designed to enhance public safety.
Kelly served as an Assistant District Attorney in Cambria County for 14 years and District Attorney for 10 years. In 2020, she joined the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office as a Deputy District Attorney and was also the clerical staff supervisor and Open Records Officer. She started her legal career as a full-time Law Clerk to former President Judge Gerard Long in Cambria County and an appointed Juvenile Hearing Officer. She was an Adjunct Professor in the Criminology Department at Mount Aloysius College. She has presented on numerous criminal justice topics to various audiences throughout her career.
From 2011-2019, Kelly served on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors for PDAA and PDAI and was appointed by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to serve on the state Criminal Procedure Rules Committee from 2012 to 2017.
In her tenure as DA, she created the Cambria County Human Trafficking Response Team to raise awareness, train investigators to identify/recover victims and provide needed support; the Cambria County Drug Coalition (CCDC), a collaborative approach to better address the opioid epidemic and reduce the number of overdose deaths; the Circle of Support Child Advocacy Center to ensure the county was utilizing the recommended best practice model for investigating child abuse and serving victims’ needs; the Cambria County Sexual Assault Response Team who trained specialized sexual assault nurse examiners and developed the first known anonymous sexual assault protocol which is now used as a national model; and the Elder Abuse Task Force.
Kelly was active in the implementation of Veterans Court and Mental Health Court. She served as Board Chair of the Cambria County Special Emergency Response Team, was a member of the Criminal Justice Advisory Board, Prison Board, Cambria County Drug Task Force and DUI Task Force.
As a young prosecutor, she designed and implemented an underage drinking and teen driving safety program which was administered in all local school districts and participated in summer Youth Fairs where she visited local playgrounds to talk to kids about remaining drug-free and making good choices.
Kelly holds a J.D. from the Dickinson School of Law (1993), and a B.S. in Health Policy & Administration with a Minor in Business from Penn State University (1993). Kelly lives in Johnstown with her husband Derrick. They have two daughters: Quinn and Molly.