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James M. Olson

Former Directorate of Operations of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Former Chief of Counterintelligence at CIA, Professor at the Bush School, Author

Professor Olson received his law degree from the University of Iowa in 1969. He is a Senior Lecturer at the Bush School, where he teaches courses on intelligence, national security, and international crisis management using his experience serving over 30 years in the Directorate of Operations of the Central Intelligence Agency, mostly overseas in clandestine operations. In addition to several foreign assignments, he was Chief of Counterintelligence at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

Needless to say, Olson’s stories of undercover operations and his breadth of knowledge  in intelligence captivate audiences of all kinds.

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Travels From: Texas | Fee Range: $10,000 - $20,000

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Imagine living a lie for 31 years. That’s what James Olson and his wife Meredith did while spying for the CIA. Spying for his country was the furthest thing from his mind when Olson, a farm boy from Iowa, received a mysterious phone call that changed his life forever. In his presentation, Olson takes you inside the real world of being a CIA spy. He describes the rigorous training they receive and the difficult dilemmas that they face in the field on a daily basis. Olson explains how the global war on terror affects everyone and that the country needs to know that the United States will be hit again within its borders. The United States needs spies to protect the country and its vital interests.

Biography

Professor James Olson received his law degree from the University of Iowa. He is a professor of the practice at the Bush School, where he teaches courses on intelligence and counterintelligence.

He served for over thirty years in the Directorate of Operations of the Central Intelligence Agency, mostly overseas in clandestine operations. In addition to several foreign assignments, he was Chief of Counterintelligence at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

Professor Olson has been awarded the Intelligence Medal of Merit, the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, the Donovan Award, and several Distinguished Service Citations. He is the recipient of awards from the Bush School and the Association of Former Students for excellence in teaching.

Professor Olson is also the author of Fair Play: The Moral Dilemmas of Spying and To Catch a Spy: The Art of Counterintelligence. Prior to his career in the CIA, he served in the US Navy, where he attained the rank of lieutenant commander.

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