Kristin Olsen was elected to the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors in June 2016 and began her term in January 2017, after representing Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties in the California State Assembly since 2010. In addition to her elected role as a County Supervisor, Olsen serves as the Vice Chair of the California Republican Party and runs her own consulting firm named Red Suit.
Over the years, Olsen has developed a statewide reputation as a dynamic, forward-thinking leader – “the sort of person the Republicans need” (LA Daily News) and whom Governor Jerry Brown described as “pragmatic and effective.” A mother of three school-age children, Olsen approaches her job as a concerned citizen and “soccer mom” who strives to better the lives of Californians. This perspective is evidenced in her efforts to improve the education system, address perennial water problems and promote economic growth.
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. Further, she traveled up and down the state meeting with a wide variety of stakeholders and promoting polices designed to move California forward. In her district, Olsen has earned high marks as a bipartisan consensus builder whose “party affiliation was of less importance than her Valley affiliation” (Modesto Bee) when working on issues of regional concern.
While Olsen has been active in a myriad of policy issues, her primary focus is on education and government accountability – two areas in which she aggressively challenges the status quo. She is passionate about providing a quality education for six million Californians and recognizes the profound impact that it has on the lives and futures of both our students and state. Additionally, Olsen recognizes that civic engagement cannot begin until the public understands what its government is doing. For this reason, she continues to push for more open government at all levels.
Prior to being elected to the Assembly, Olsen served five years on the Modesto City Council (2005-10). Professionally, she served as the Assistant Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs at CSU Stanislaus (2005-10), and as the Senior Communications Manager for the California Restaurant Association (1999-2004). Her first job out of college was as a staffer in the State Senate, a position in which she admittedly got “the bug” for public service.
Olsen graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. from Westmont College. She serves on the Board of Directors for CA Women Lead that recruits and trains women to pursue appointed and elected office. She also serves on the Board for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Stanislaus County that helps abused and neglected children living in the foster youth system.