Kimberly Olson

Kimberly Olson

Fellow (Alumni)

Social Media

Kimberly Olson is a Robert Bosch Foundation Fellow based in Berlin, Germany for 2019-2020. The program selects 15 highly accomplished mid-career Americans to participate in a year-long fellowship aimed at fostering transatlantic relations and deepening professional networks. As a fellow, she is based at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam, concentrating on the intersection between behavioral science and public policy. Prior to the fellowship, Kim served as the Policy Director for Oregon State Treasurer Tobias Read, designing policies to help Oregonians save for higher education and retirement, and advancing the Treasurer's agenda in areas from cannabis banking to corporate governance. She also authored the administrative rules for OregonSaves, the nation's first state-based automatic-enrollment retirement program for private sector workers. Kim previously served in the U.S. Foreign Service in assignments at the U.S. embassies in Bern, Switzerland, and Ankara, Turkey. She holds a master's degree in German and European Studies from Georgetown University and a bachelor's degree in International Studies and German from the University of Oregon.

Professional Experience

  • 7/2019 - Present Robert Bosch Foundation Fellow
  • 1/2017 - 6/2019 Policy Director, Oregon State Treasury
  • 9/2014 - 12/2016 Operations and Policy Analyst, Oregon State Treasury
  • 5/2012 - 6/2014 Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Embassy, Ankara, Turkey
  • 3/2009 - 6/2011 Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Embassy, Bern, Switzerland


  • 9/2006 - 6/2008 M.A. in German and European Studies, Georgetown University
  • 9/2000 - 6/2004 B.A. in International Studies and German, University of Oregon
  • Behavioral science
  • Human-centered design
  • Public policy
  • Goverment legitimacy

Publikationen vor der Tätigkeit am RIFS

  • Kunreuther, H., Slovic, P., & Olson, K. G. (2017). How Can We Improve Decision Making in the Face of Catastrophic Risk? In R. Kasperson (Ed), Risk Conundrums: Solving Unsolvable Problems. Routledge.

  • Slovic, P., Västfjäll, D., Gregory, R., & Olson, K. G. (2016). Valuing Lives You Might Save: Understanding Psychic Numbing in the Face of Genocide. In C. Anderton & J. Brauer (Eds), The Economics of Genocide. Oxford University Press.

  • 2016 - Present Term Member, Council on Foreign Relations
  • 2015 - Present Security Fellow, Truman National Security Project
  • 2014 Atlantik-Brücke Young Leader
  • 2008 Atlantic Council, Young Atlanticist
  • 2006 - 2008 Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellow
  • 2005 - 2006 J. William Fulbright Fellow, University of Vienna (Austria)