Prior to joining California Strategies & Advocacy, Kristin Olsen founded Red Suit, LLC, after terming out of the California State Legislature in 2016. As a consultant and lobbyist, she has helped others effectively work within the government sphere and political landscape. The relationships she has developed and the experience she has gained over the past 20 years as both a Capitol staffer and an elected official at the local and state levels, including as Minority Leader of the State Assembly, along with her experience as a trade association executive and higher education administrator, make her uniquely suited to help clients navigate the key players, policies, politics, and processes of state and local government.
Kristin Olsen served as Assembly Republican Leader from 2014 through early 2016. In this capacity, she was the Caucus’ lead negotiator on major policy and fiscal issues, led its political and campaign efforts, and was its principal spokesperson. In her San Joaquin Valley district, Olsen earned high marks as a bipartisan consensus builder whose “party affiliation was of less importance than her Valley affiliation” (Modesto Bee).
Olsen currently serves on the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors, on the Board of Directors for New Way California, and on the Board of Directors for CA Women Lead that recruits and trains women to pursue appointed and elected office. She is also one of just 300 Aspen-Rodel Fellows across the United States and the California State Director for the National Foundation for Women Legislators. In 2018, she was named one of 60 California Influencers – a role in which she provided commentary on policy matters and election issues for McClatchy newspapers across California.
Prior to being elected to the Assembly, Olsen served five years on the Modesto City Council (2005-10) and two years on the Modesto Planning Commission (2004-05). Professionally, she served as the Assistant Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs at CSU Stanislaus (2006-2010), and as the Senior Communications Manager for the California Restaurant Association (1999-2004). Her first job out of college was as a California Senate Fellow (’96-’97) and then a legislative aide and press secretary in the State Senate.
Olsen graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. from Westmont College and is a strong voice for a well-rounded, liberal arts education.