Lucas Olson

Ph.D. Candidate (2019 Cohort)

Dissertation Project

Government funding of Indigenous boarding schools in the US and Canada

Professional Background

International education, entrepreneurship


Mixed methods research, education program management, dialogue facilitation


Lucas Olson’s research focuses on lessons learned from Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission that are applicable in a US context. His research interests include the intersection of religion and politics, the international political economics of education, and settler colonialism.

Lucas recently earned a master’s in Public Theology from Wesley Theological Seminary and a master’s in International Development from American University’s School of International Service. Previously, he earned a double degree in International Studies and Economics from the University of Washington.

He was born and raised in Seattle but has lived in Washington, D.C. for the last five years where he determined through a mixed method approach that the West Coast is indeed the best coast. Previously, he has lived, worked, and studied in El Salvador, China, Canada, France, and elsewhere. In his free time, he enjoys endurance sports and gardening.


US-Sino Joint Education Ventures in China: A Stakeholder Analysis of Hopkins-Nanjing Center, Duke Kunshan University, and Schwarzman Scholars. Master’s Thesis, American University, 2016. Accessible at:

Grants & fellowships

  • Mykut Fellowship, University of Washington, Jackson School of International Studies
  • Governor’s Award, Wesley Theological Seminary
  • Graduate Research Grant, American University’s School of International Service
  • Graduate Assistant Award, American University’s School of International Service
  • Killam Fellowship, Fulbright Canada