James M. Olson
Professor of the Practice, The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University
Born in LeMars, Iowa. B.A. (mathematics and economics), University of Iowa. J.D. (international law), University of Iowa. Member of Iowa Bar. U.S. Navy (attained rank of Lieutenant Commander, USNR).
Career officer in the Directorate of Operations of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), serving mostly overseas in clandestine operations. Served as Chief of Counterintelligence at CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia. Overseas assignments in the U.S.S.R., Austria, and Mexico. Foreign languages: French, German, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish.
Recipient of the Intelligence Medal of Merit, the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, the Counterintelligence Excellence Medal, the Donovan Award, and several distinguished achievement awards. Awarded the Silver Star Award at the Bush School for excellence in teaching.
Assigned by the CIA to the George Bush School of Government and Public Service in College Station, Texas, as an officer-in-residence in December 1997. Teaching courses on intelligence, counterintelligence, and national security. Frequent guest lecturer at other courses, conferences, and symposia. Appointed a permanent faculty member of the Bush School in August 2000. Now serving as a Professor of the Practice.
Author of “The Ten Commandments of Counterintelligence,” “Fair Play: The Moral Dilemmas of Spying,” and most recently, “To Catch a Spy: The Art of Counterintelligence.”
Outside interests: Catholic Church, tennis, bicycling, baseball (avid fan), foreign languages, history, literature.
Read recent article in Texas A&M Today: https://today.tamu.edu/2019/04/29/under-cover/