Admiral Eric T. Olson, U.S. Navy (Retired)
Eric Olson retired from the United States Navy in 2011 as a four-star Admiral after more than 38 years of military service. A Navy SEAL officer, he served in special operations units throughout his career. He was engaged in several contingency operations and commanded at every level. Admiral Olson’s military career culminated as the head of the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), where he was responsible for the mission readiness and deployment of all Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps special operations forces. In this capacity, he led over 60,000 people and managed an annual budget of more than ten billion dollars. His duties involved much interagency and international collaboration.
Eric has been recognized as a Distinguished Graduate of both the United States Naval Academy and the Naval Postgraduate School. He is a designated specialist in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. During his military service, he received numerous military decorations including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star for gallantry in combat, and the Bronze Star for valor. His foreign awards include appointment as an Officer in the French Legion of Honor.
Admiral Olson is now an independent consultant and a member of the Board of Directors of Under Armour, Inc., Iridium Communications, Inc., and Sarcos Technology and Robotics Corp., as well as five privately held companies. He is a Trustee of the Institute for Defense Analysis and a member of the Homeland Security Experts Group. He is also an advisor to several charitable organizations including Spirit of America, Boulder Crest Foundation, the Navy UDT- SEAL Museum, the OSS Society, and the Naval Postgraduate School Foundation. He is a Chairman Emeritus of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. For several years, he taught a graduate course at Columbia University.