Sam Olens became Kennesaw State University’s fourth president on Nov. 1, 2016.
Olens was elected Georgia’s 53rd attorney general in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. In his role, Olens worked with the governor and legislature to strengthen the penalties for sex trafficking and protect the victims. He also guided a comprehensive revision of Georgia’s sunshine laws and led the effort to stem the epidemic of prescription drug abuse. Additionally, in cooperation with the Georgia Food Bank Association and Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Georgia, Olens established the Georgia Legal Food Frenzy, which has collected the equivalent of over 5 million pounds of food for Georgia’s youth.
Prior to being elected attorney general, Olens was chairman of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners, serving from August 2002 through March 2010. He previously served as a county commissioner from 1999 through June 2002. He also served as chair of the Atlanta Regional Commission from December 2004 through 2009, and as vice-chair of the Metropolitan North Georgia Water District from 2005 through March 2010.
Olens is the recipient of numerous awards and honors for leadership and service. In 2016, Georgia Trend magazine named him the Georgian of the Year, and he has been listed among the publication’s “100 Most Influential Georgians” for 13 consecutive years. That same year, Olens was presented with the Silver Beaver Award, which is the highest honor a local Boy Scout Council can present to a volunteer. In 2015, Olens received the Charles L. Weltner Freedom of Information Award, and in 2013, he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Emory University School of Law. Additionally, in 2011, the Cobb Chamber of Commerce honored Olens for his dedication to community and philanthropic service by naming its annual community service award the “Sam Olens Business Community Service Award.”
He recently served as vice president of the National Association of Attorneys General, having previously served as chair of the 13-state Southern Region both in 2013 and 2015. Olens is a registered mediator/arbitrator with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution and has been admitted to practice law in Georgia and the District of Columbia.
Olens received his juris doctorate from Emory University School of Law, and holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from American University in international politics.
He and his wife Lisa have two children, Lauren and Jonathan.
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