Dr. Olson is the Director of the Strategic Analysis and Integration Division in the Human Exploration and Operations (HEO) Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC. He is responsible for NASA’s integrated human space exploration architecture, operations concepts, mission plans, and analysis of technology, capabilities, and systems needed for an innovative, affordable, and sustainable human exploration and operations enterprise that benefits the nation and all humankind through bold exploration of the solar system, including Near Earth Asteroids, the Moon, and Mars. He also leads cross-cutting integration and strategic management of risk, knowledge, affordability, systems engineering, software, enterprise security, and the industrial base. Dr. Olson oversees international, interagency, industry, and science partnership coordination, including NASA’s role in the Global Exploration Roadmap, and the cross-agency Human Architecture Team.
Prior to his current role, Dr. Olson was Director of the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate Integration Office at NASA HQ, where he directed the seamless and efficient integration of NASA’s human and robotic space exploration activities and the necessary technical support to sustain their safety and success. As the former Exploration Transition Manager at NASA HQ, he was responsible for all Exploration planning activities and processes to support the retirement of the Space Shuttle Program and transition to the Constellation Program. He started his NASA career as the Manager of International Space Station (ISS) Operations in the Office of Safety and Mission Assurance at NASA HQ, serving as the lead for integrated Shuttle/Station operation, the Crew Exploration Vehicle, commercial space, and the Johnson Space Center liaison.
Prior to joining NASA in June 2004, Dr. Olson served in the US Air Force in several capacities, including the Chief of the Test, Operations, and Programs Division in the Space Vehicle Operations Directorate at Kirtland AFB NM where he was an X-vehicles program manager and space acquisition leader. Dr. Olson was also the Chief of Test, Flight Commander of Special Projects, and Airborne Test Branch Chief, conducting flight tests in the F-15 and F-16 in the 46th Test Wing's Munitions Test Division at Eglin AFB FL; a project and flight test manager for Special Operations flight test at Hurlburt Field, FL; and, an engineer at the Air Force Advanced Composites Program Office at McClellan AFB, CA. Dr. Olson continues to serve as a part-time USAF Reserve Officer at the Pentagon where he serves as an air and space expert and interagency liaison on acquisition, science and technology applications, space access, space situational awareness, and international issues.
B.S., Engineering Sciences, USAF Academy
B.S., Mechanical Engineering, USAF Academy
M.S., Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois
M.S., Aviation Systems, University of Tennessee
Graduate, French & Russian Courses, Defense Language Institute
Graduate, US Air Force Test Pilot School
Ph. D., Industrial & Systems Engineering, Auburn University
Graduate, Harvard Senior Executive Fellows Program