Culture & Society

Jim Olson Talks Going Undercover

On Thursday's episode of "Around Texas With Chancellor John Sharp," Texas A&M Bush School professor Jim Olson will discuss the three decades he spent as an international spy.
By Texas A&M University System Communications Staff February 25, 2021

James Olson
Bush School of Government and Public Service Professor James Olson, a former undercover operative for the CIA.

Texas A&M Foundation


A former international spy who now teaches at Texas A&M University recently explained to Chancellor John Sharp how he clandestinely collected secrets from top Kremlin officials during the Cold War.

On Thursday’s episode of Around Texas With Chancellor John Sharp, Professor Jim Olson from the Bush School of Government and Public Service shares some now-declassified details from his operations during three decades at the Central Intelligence Agency.

Talking about one of his most successful missions in the Soviet Union, Olson told the chancellor: “I was able to go down the manhole, get underneath Moscow and tap their top secret communications cables. That was quite a day.”

Olson, who has written books about spying, also recalled on the show how he and his team apprehended double agents who sought to harm the U.S.

But the discussion was not limited to the past. Olson also outlines some of the current threats to national security, particularly from China.

The show premiers Thursday at 7 p.m. on KAMU-TV in Bryan-College Station, and it can be viewed after it airs on the System’s YouTube channel.

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