- PhD, University of Cambridge
- MS - Real Estate Development, Johns Hopkins University
- BS - Finance, University of Illinois
Kat Grimsley is the director of the Masters in Real Estate Development program at the George Mason University. She is responsible for the administration of all aspects of the program, including community building, curriculum management, and strategic development. Dr. Grimsley's appointment as director builds on her unique blend of professional and academic experience with commercial real estate. She began her career in the private sector doing market research, financial modelling, and transactional work with commercial real estate in the Washington, D.C., area. She transitioned to a global focus when she accepted a role managing an international property development portfolio for the U.S. Department of State, in which she developed acquisition strategies for diplomatic properties in more than 25 countries and represented the U.S. Government in the implementation of each. Specifically, Dr. Grimsley led multidisciplinary technical teams; conducted political, transactional and contract negotiations; and engaged in constant inter- and intra-agency coordination and consensus building. She is a three-time recipient of the Department of State’s Exemplary Performance Award.
In 2018, Dr. Grimsley became the first woman appointed as a NAIOP Distinguished Fellow. She also currently serves as a member of the Real Estate Market Advisory Group for the United Nation's Economic Commission for Europe (UN-ECE) Committee of Housing and Land Management. She is a current member of several US-based real estate institutions including the American Real Estate Society (ARES), the organization of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW), the Urban Land Institute (ULI), and NAIOP.
In addition to industry experience, Dr. Grimsley has an academic concentration in real estate. She received her doctorate from the University of Cambridge, where she was appointed as a Cambridge International Scholar by the Cambridge Trusts. 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. Dr. Grimsley also holds an MS in Real Estate from the Johns Hopkins University and a BS in Finance with a specialization in commercial real estate investment analysis from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne.