Lana Oleen was first elected to the Kansas Senate in 1988. She was selected by her colleagues to serve four years as Senate Majority Leader, retiring from the Senate after completing her fourth term in 2005. In the Senate, Oleen served as Chair of the Joint Committee on State-Tribal Relations, the Senate Confirmation Oversight Committee and Federal and State Committee. She also served on the Senate Education, Judiciary and Natural Resources committees.
Oleen was active with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), holding the position of Chair of the Standing Committees and served on the Advisory Committee for State/Tribal Relations. Oleen was a member of the Council of State Governments' (CSG) Suggested State Legislation Committee, National Vice Chair of the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS), State Chair of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and remains involved with these organizations as a consultant.
Oleen was elected Chair of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC) while in the Senate and now serves as Governor Kathleen Sebelius' designee to the Compact. She is on the Policy Consensus Initiative (PCI) Board of Directors and the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), where she chairs the Audit Committee. She is also member of the Public Policy Working Group for the Kettering Foundation. Oleen recently co-authored a paper on rising costs in college education which was selected for publication by the Lumina Foundation.
A teacher by profession, Oleen holds undergraduate and masters degrees from Emporia State University. She is Kansas Master Teacher, and was selected Citizen of the Year in 2005 by her community of Manhattan, KS. She is President of Lana Oleen Consulting Services, LLC., where she works cooperatively with national foundations and governmental relations for American Indian tribes. She and her husband, Kent, have two grown children, Brooke and Ben.