Kristin Olsen is a Stanislaus County Supervisor and a Partner at California Strategies, LLC, the state’s largest public affairs consulting firm. She termed out of the California State Assembly in 2016, where she represented communities in the San Joaquin Valley and Sierra Foothills while also serving as one of the top four legislative leaders.
As a lobbyist, Olsen has represented clients before the California Legislature and Executive Branch on a wide variety of topics including but not limited to agriculture, construction, energy, land-use, labor law, sports betting, wildfires, telecommunications, and water.
Olsen helps others effectively work within the government sphere and political landscape. The relationships she has developed and experience she has gained over the past 25 years as both a Capitol staffer and an elected official at the local and state levels, 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.
While serving as one of the top four leaders in the Legislature, Olsen developed a statewide reputation as a dynamic, forward-thinking leader – “the sort of person the Republicans need” (LA Daily News) and whom Democratic Governor Jerry Brown described as “pragmatic and effective.” She was often cited by both Republican and Democratic peers, as well as by reporters in the media, as one of the most effective legislators, known for building solid bipartisan relationships. President Pro Tem of the State Senate, Toni Atkins, states, “Kristin is an incredibly skilled negotiator and never quits or gives up.”
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). During her legislative tenure, she served on the Water, Insurance, Agriculture, Health, Privacy, Education, and Higher Education Committees.
In addition to now serving on the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors, Olsen serves on the Board of Directors for CA Women Lead that recruits and trains women to pursue appointed and elected office. She is one of just 300 Aspen-Rodel Fellows across the United States and a frequent speaker on California politics and the importance of multi-partisanship and civility in the public square.
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. She lives in Modesto, CA, with her three children, and loves music and soccer.