Luncheon Keynote Speaker
LEADERSHIP IN CRISIS: UNDER COVER IN THE CIA with JAMES (“JIM”) OLSON
Wednesday, June 14, 12:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.
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. Mr. Olson will take you inside the real and chaotic world of being a CIA spy. He describes the rigorous training and difficult dilemmas encountered in the field on a daily basis as well as the personal challenges he and his wife faced as spies moving from place to place and job to job while raising a family. His eye-opening presentation sprinkled with some good humor will leave the audience wanting to know more with a fresh perspective on what we need to do as citizens, why the United States needs spies to protect our country and its vital interests, and what leadership in crisis really means.
ABOUT JAMES (“JIM”) OLSON
James (“Jim”) Olson received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Iowa. He is a professor emeritus at The Bush School of Government & Public Service at Texas A&M University, where he taught courses on intelligence and counterintelligence. He served for 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. Mr. Olson has been awarded the Intelligence Medal of Merit, the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, the Donovan Award, and several Distinguished Service Citations. He is also the recipient of awards from the Bush School and the Association of Former Students for excellence in teaching. Mr. Olson is 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, Jim served in the US Navy, where he attained the rank of lieutenant commander.