George Mason UniversitySchool of Business
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Grimsley, Kat

Academic Unit:Real Estate Development
Position:Director, MS in Real Estate Development
  • PhD, University of Cambridge
  • MS - Real Estate Development, Johns Hopkins University
  • BS - Finance, University of Illinois

Grimsley is a real estate specialist with a focus on development issues, property rights, and portfolio challenges. Her expertise stems both from firsthand industry experience and also from conducting academic research in real estate at the masters and doctoral levels.

Grimsley began her career in the private sector doing market research, financial modeling, and transactional work in commercial real estate. She was as a commercial broker in the Washington, D.C., area before moving in-house to support portfolio expansion plans for a national franchisor. She then transitioned to a global focus when she accepted a role managing an international portfolio of real estate actions for the U.S. Department of State in the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations. Grimsley developed acquisition and disposition strategies for diplomatic properties in more than 25 countries and represented the U.S. Government in the implementation of each. She led multidisciplinary technical teams; conducted political, transactional and contract negotiations; hired and directed external service providers; and engaged in constant inter- and intra-agency coordination and consensus building.

In addition to industry experience, Grimsley has an academic concentration in real estate. She earned her PhD from the University of Cambridge. Her research addressed global tenure and title insecurity by uniting policy with existing international best practices and technological capacity in the context of global administrative solutions. This work considered property rights and land administration practices on a global scale while examining specific links to multilateral agreements and other forms of international law. Additionally, Grimsley holds an MS in Real Estate Development from the Johns Hopkins University, and a BS in Finance with a specialization in real estate investment analysis from the University of Illinois.

Grimsley has recently been appointed as a member of the Standard Setting Committee of the International [real estate] Ethics Coalition, which operates under the auspices of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in London. Further, she serves as an external land expert for the UN Economic Commission for Europe’s Working Party on Land Administration (WPLA). She has, upon invitation, presented her research on informal property rights, global property standards, and interregional land governance at conferences of the WPLA and the World Bank. Grimsley is also a member of several US-based real estate institutions including the American Real Estate Society (ARES), the organization of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW), and the Urban Land Institute (ULI).