Dr. Kolson joined ACTA in July 2016. He previously served as director of the Washington Academic Internship Program for the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, The Ohio State University. In 2007, after 22 years of service, he retired as deputy director of the Division of Research Programs at the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Dr. Kolson is a graduate of Allegheny College, where he majored in political science. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky. Dr. Kolson joined the NEH after teaching for 15 years at Hiram College. He also taught at the University of Maryland–College Park, and he served in 2006 as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Oulu in Finland. Upon his return to the United States, he was detailed to the U.S. Department of State as the cultural affairs officer for the UNESCO office. He had a second Fulbright in 2014 at Šiauliai University in Lithuania. He is a widely published scholar and author of a book, Big Plans, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, having to do with the allure and folly of urban design.