Former Chief of Counterintelligence,CIA and Naval Officer
Born in LeMars, Iowa, Jim Olson commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Navy, eventually attaining the rank of lieutenant commander. After earning a law degree at the University of Iowa, Jim joined the CIA, serving as a career officer in the Directorate of Operations, mostly overseas in clandestine operations. He eventually became the chief of counterintelligence at CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia, and completed his service with the CIA as an officer-in-residence at the Bush School of Government at Texas A&M University.
He is now a permanent faculty member at the Bush School, where he teaches courses on Cold War Intelligence, U.S. National Security, and International Crisis Management, continues to consult with government agencies on intelligence matters, and has received the Silver Star Award for excellence in teaching. He is the recipient of the Intelligence Medal of Merit, the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, the Counterintelligence Excellence Medal, and the Donovan Award, and is fluent in French, German, Russian and Spanish. He has authored two books: “The Ten Commandments of Counterintelligence” and “Fair Play: The Moral Dilemmas of Spying.”