Major General John M Olson

Mobilization Assistant to the Chief of Space Operations
State of the Space Industrial Base Webinar : Panel 1: Overview of State of the space Industrial Base 2022 Report

Maj. Gen. John M. Olson is the Mobilization Assistant to the Chief of Space Operations, Headquarters United States Space Force and Chief Data and Artificial Intelligence Officer for the Department of the Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia. He supports the CSO with responsibility to organize, train, and equip space forces; develop and acquire military space systems; and conduct space operations to advance and protect U.S. and allied interests. Maj. Gen. Olson is the Space Force lead for Joint All Domain Command and Control and the Advanced Battle Management System. As the first Chief Data and Artificial Intelligence Officer for the Department of the Air Force, he leads both Air Force and Space Force data and AI initiatives in operations, technology, innovation, personnel, mobility, logistics, maintenance and finance. Maj. Gen. Olson also serves on the Office of the Secretary of Defense Operational Energy Innovation Technical Advisory Group and flies as an Airborne Emergency Action Officer on the Looking Glass Airborne Nuclear Command Post leading strategic deterrence missions.

Maj. Gen. Olson has five engineering degrees, including two bachelor’s degrees from the U.S. Air Force Academy, master’s degrees in engineering from the University of Illinois and the University of Tennessee, and a Doctorate in Systems Engineering from Auburn University. Maj. Gen. Olson also completed Executive education programs at Harvard, MIT and Stanford, has held numerous air, space, cyber, acquisition, test, weapons, political-military, intelligence, and technology command, staff, and leadership roles at all levels. He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School, a freefall parachutist, and a former European and Eurasian Foreign Area Officer. Maj. Gen. Olson deployed to Southwest Asia supporting air and space operations for operations Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, New Dawn in Iraq, Odyssey Dawn in Libya, and Joint Task Force Horn of Africa. The general transitioned to the Air Force Reserve in 2004 after joining NASA, where he served as a Senior Executive Service leader in several civil space leadership roles for nearly a decade, earning the Presidential Rank Award. In his industry capacity, he served as a Chief Executive Officer, President, Vice President, and General Manager in both public and private corporations for nine years, following 25 years of federal civil service culminating as the Assistant Director for Space and Aeronautics in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Prior to his current assignment, Maj. Gen. Olson served as the Mobilization Assistant to the Commander, 16th Air Force, Air Forces Cyber, and Joint Forces Headquarters-Cyber at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, leading 49,100 Airmen responsible for information warfare.