Shari Olefson, JD, LLM, is a bar certified real estate attorney and a Civil Circuit-Supreme Court certified mediator with degrees in journalism, psychology, finance and development. Olefson is also Director of The Carnegie Group think tank (www.thecarnegiegroup.com), dedicated to framing and facilitating collaboration between industry, government and media on issues affecting average Americans, and is President of the Womens Equal Pay Network (www.wepnetwork.com), dedicated to ending illegal gender pay discrimination in the legal and other professions by providing women with the first ever platform for sharing their stories and being heard, removing the stigma associated with talking about gender based pay discrimination and raising public, legislative and media awareness. A lawyer who served on the front lines of the real estate bubble, the bailouts, and the Great Recession, she is also a trusted news commentator and speaker-educator on cultural trends, government intervention, foreclosures, credit, saving and investments, and other tremendously timely, life changing money matters. In her newest book, FINANCIAL FRESH START (AMACOM; February 2013), Olefson demystifies the new rules and reforms enacted in the wake of the economic meltdown to help average Americans take full advantage of the opportunity to improve their prospects for prosperity and peace of mind.
Since launching her legal career in 1989, Olefson, a member of the Florida, District of Columbia, and New York Bars, has focused on business and commercial real estate transactions, mediations, work outs, foreclosures, regulatory compliance and new product structuring, and serving as an expert witness. In addition to her law practice, she has served as the CEO of a Fortune 300 real estate services joint venture, bringing business common sense to every circumstance she encounters.
Not only recognized for her unique expertise in the law, real estate, banking and business, Olefson is also widely sought out for her ability to translate complex subjects into easily-understood and actionable solutions and her passion for re-engaging and empowering relevant professionals and average Americans alike. She is frequently quoted in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and USA Today, and regularly appears as a guest expert on CNN, CNBC, Fox, PBS, MSNBC, and CBS, as well as national and regional radio programs. Along with writing numerous articles and professional reports, she has worked on training programs for some of the nation’s leading lenders, brokers, trade associations, government agencies and corporations. Her previous books include Foreclosure Nation: Mortgaging the American Dream (Prometheus, 2009), Structuring Commercial Real Estate Transactions (Thompson Reuters, 2010), Foreclosures Defense Strategies (Aspatore, 2009) and Foreclosures: What Lawyers Need to Know Now (Andrews Publications, 2009).
Born in New York and raised in New York and Florida, Shari Olefson is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University and the University of Miami Masters of Law program.