(Photo Credit: Katie Orr)
Kristin Olsen became the Assembly Republican leader in 2015 after her peers elected her to the post the previous year. In four years in the Assembly before that, Olsen has pursued legislation on environmental and veterans policies and worked with Democrats on education reforms. Olsen has also been a leader in proposing reforms to government accountability and transparency, leading by example by becoming the first legislator to release her office budget to the public, even as other members refused to do so. A strong advocate for economic development and investment in the Central Valley, Olsen was born and raised in Modesto and previously served on the Modesto City Council. She was named legislator of the year in 2012 by the Regional Council of Rural Counties. Olsen is a communications studies graduate of Westmont College, and previously served as the assistant vice president for communications and public affairs at California State University, Stanislaus.