Kennesaw State president among Georgia’s 'Most Influential'

KENNESAW, Ga. | Jan 26, 2017

Georgia Trend names Sam Olens as one of state’s most prominent figures

Sam Olens
Kennesaw State President Samuel S. Olens has been named to Georgia Trend magazine's list of "Most Influential Georgians."

From “Georgian of the Year” as the state’s top law enforcement officer in 2016 to Kennesaw State University’s new president later that same year, Samuel S. Olens is among Georgia Trend magazine’s list of people “who inspire, lead and influence” the daily lives of Georgians.

For its 19th list, the magazine included politicians, CEOs, college presidents and others to its 2017 issue of “100 Most Influential Georgians.” Olens has made the list for 13 consecutive years.

Olens, who previously served as Georgia’s attorney general and became the fourth president of KSU on Nov. 1, has said he intends to focus on improving Kennesaw State’s graduation rate, need-based scholarships and faculty support.

In his role as attorney general, 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.

In addition to the recognitions bestowed by Georgia Trend, Olens is the recipient of numerous awards and honors for leadership and service. 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.”

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 45,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit