Eric T. Olson

Independent Defense Contractor; Retired Major General, United States Army


Eric T. "Rick" Olson currently serves as an independent defense contractor, working with Army brigades and provincial reconstruction teams who are preparing for deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Until July, 2008 he was the Chief of Staff and Special Advisor to the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.

In August, 2006 he began one year of service in U.S. Embassy, Baghdad serving as Deputy Director of the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office and Director of the National Coordination Team, which provides guidance and coordinates the activities of the Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Iraq.

Prior to coming to the National Coordination Team, Olson served as the Vice President of MPEG LA (China). He was responsible for the initiation of the first-ever effort to promote intellectual property rights and a patent license model in China.

Olson achieved the rank of Major General before retiring from the United States Army in January 2006. In his 33-year military career, he has held several staff positions in joint, combined, and the Department of the Army staffs. He was also the 68th Commandant of Cadets at the United States Military Academy, West Point from 2000 to 2002.

Featured Work

SEP 2, 2009 Podcast

Jeffrey McCausland Interviews Eric "Rick" Olson: The Role of Military Contractors

"I just couldn't conceive of a battlefield now without contractors," says Olson, former Major General in the U.S. army and now an independent defense ...

AUG 17, 2009 Article

State of Denial? NATO at 60 and the War in Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, NATO is proving itself the wrong alliance, fighting an enemy that defies precise definition in a war for which it is ill suited ...