Kevin A. Shields

Kevin A. Shields

Chairman of the Board and Executive Chairman

Griffin Capital Essential Asset REIT, Inc.

Kevin A. Shields, our Executive Chairman and the Chairman of our Board, has been an officer and director since our formation and served as our Chief Executive Officer from 2008 until December 14, 2018. Mr. Shields is also the Chief Executive Officer of GCC, which he founded in 1995 and which indirectly owns our dealer manager. Mr. Shields served as the Chief Executive Officer of our dealer manager until June 2017. Mr. Shields also currently serves as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of GCEAR II, positions he has held since November 2013; as President and trustee of Griffin Institutional Access Real Estate Fund (“GIA Real Estate Fund”), a 1940 Act interval fund sponsored by GCC, positions he has held since November 2013; and as President and trustee of Griffin Institutional Access Credit Fund (“GIA Credit Fund”), a 1940 Act interval fund sponsored by GCC, positions he has held since January 2017. He also serves as a non-voting special observer of the board of directors of Griffin American Healthcare REIT III, Inc. (“GAHR III”) and Griffin American Healthcare REIT IV, Inc. (“GAHR IV”), both of which are public non-traded REITs co-sponsored by GCC, and as a member of the investment committee of the advisor of GAHR III. Before founding GCC, Mr. Shields was a Senior Vice President and head of the Structured Real Estate Finance Group at Jefferies & Company, Inc. in Los Angeles and a Vice President in the Real Estate Finance Department of Salomon Brothers Inc. in both New York and Los Angeles. Over the course of his 30-year real estate and investment-banking career, Mr. Shields has structured and closed over 200 transactions totaling in excess of $8 billion of real estate acquisitions, financings and dispositions. Mr. Shields graduated from the University of California at Berkeley where he earned a J.D. degree from Boalt Hall School of Law, an M.B.A. from the Haas Graduate School of Business, graduating Summa Cum Laude with Beta Gamma Distinction, and a B.S. from Haas Undergraduate School of Business, graduating with Phi Beta Kappa distinction. Mr. Shields is a licensed securities professional holding Series 7, 63, 24 and 27 licenses, and an inactive member of the California Bar. Mr. Shields is a full member of the Urban Land Institute and frequent guest lecturer at the Haas Graduate School of Business. Mr. Shields is also a member of the Policy Advisory Board for the Fisher Center for Real Estate at the Haas School of Business, the Chair Emeritus of the board of directors for the Investment Program Association and an executive member of the Public Non-Listed REIT Council of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts.

We believe that Mr. Shields’ active participation in the management of our operations and his extensive experience in the real estate and real estate financing industries support his appointment to our Board.