Olson has served in Idaho’s U.S. Attorney’s Office for more than two decades under four U.S. presidents. In 2010, she was sworn in as Idaho’s top prosecutor by President Barack Obama. As the U.S. Attorney, Olson administered civil, criminal and appellate litigation and office operations throughout the District of Idaho, and as the lead federal law enforcement official in Idaho, she coordinated and collaborated with prosecutors and law enforcement officials at all levels of government. She worked with federal, civil and criminal agency heads in Idaho and participated in tribal consultations with all five federally recognized tribal governments in the state.
Prior to being appointed U.S. Attorney, Olson served as Senior Litigation Counsel and Assistant U.S. Attorney for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boise. As Assistant U.S. Attorney, she prosecuted and defended on appeal the District of Idaho’s only federal capital case, as well as litigated appeals in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She also served as health care fraud coordinator and liaison to the Idaho Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.
Olson’s reputation as a criminal prosecutor precedes her time in Idaho. She served as a trial attorney in the criminal section of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, as well as assistant to the legal director and director of operations for the National Church Arson Task Force.
She also served as an adjunct professor of legal writing at George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C. and as an instructor and mentor in a week-long intensive trial advocacy program at University of Idaho College of Law.
Olson graduated summa cum laude from Drake University with a BA in journalism, and then earned her law degree from Stanford Law School with honors. Following law school, she served as a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Barbara J. Rothstein in the Western District of Washington.