WHC Advisory Board Member
Representative Mary Lou Dickerson
Mary Lou Dickerson is an author and legislator who chairs the Human Services Committee in the Washington State
House of Representatives, where she has served since 1995.
Mary Lou has devoted much of her life to helping women, children and families. After earning an undergraduate degree in journalism
at the University of Hawaii and a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Washington, she worked with troubled
youth and later founded the Ballard Family Center and TreeHouse, which is dedicated to helping foster children and abused children.
In the Legislature, she has been a leader on family-friendly policies such as family leave and on state laws to combat domestic
violence and youth violence.
A Flemming Fellow, former chair of the Washington ERA Coalition, and current member of The Women Legislator’s Lobby (WiLL),
Mary Lou has earned numerous awards, including the national Katherine Gallagher Award from the American Federation for the
Blind. She and her husband John Birnel live in North Seattle and have two children, Noah and Chloe.