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James Olson was in his final weeks of law school when he received a mysterious phone call that changed the trajectory of his career.
“Are you interested in serving your country?” asked the caller.
As a small-town Iowa boy with hopes of becoming a local lawyer, Olson couldn’t have guessed that a representative from the CIA was on the other end of the line.
“To this day, I still don’t know how the CIA became aware of me,” he recalled while glancing over the scattered photographs and memorabilia that cover his office walls. “At the time, I assumed it might have have had something to do with time in the Navy, but I was never told.”
In the days following the call, he was catapulted into a life he hadn’t planned to lead–one that would introduce him to his future wife, send him across the world as an undercover operative, and eventually lead him to teach at Texas A&M University’s Bush School of Government and Public Service.
(This was taken from an article by Taryn Wood at Texas A&M University.)
City State Bank hosted an event Monday evening at the Mount Ayr Country Club, where attendees heard from a number of speakers, including Monte Shaw from the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Tim Christensen, an Iowa State University Farm Specialist and other representatives of the bank.
The highlight of the program was the keynote address given by Jim Olson, a retired CIA agent where he regaled the audience with tales of his adventures as an undercover CIA counter-intelligence officer serving across the world.
His talked centered on the four most infamous spies that betrayed the United States.