Paula Olsiewski is a pioneering leader in policy and scientific research programs in chemistry, microbiology, biosecurity, and synthetic biology. As Program Director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, she leads innovative and multidisciplinary programs that inspire, accelerate, and produce lasting impact. Her accomplishments include the creation and direction of the Microbiology of the Built Environment (MoBE) and Chemistry of Indoor Environments (CIE) programs. Paula is recognized as a leading expert in biosecurity and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She chair's the US EPA's Homeland Security Research Subcommittee and is a member of the U.S. EPA's Board of Scientific Counselors Executive Committee . She is a member of the NTI | bio Working Group for Biosecurity Innovation and Risk Reduction Initiative and is a Fellow of the AAAS in chemistry.
Olsiewski’s acumen in board governance, recruitment and development, as well as fundraising, has helped both scientific and philanthropic organizations improve their operational efficacy and programmatic outcomes. Early in her career, Paula was Vice President of Product Development at Enzo Biochem, and President of Neo/Tech Corp. She is an active board member of the Critical Path Institute, an independent non-profit organization dedicated to improving the drug development and regulatory process. Paula is a trustee of the Spondylitis Association of America, and was board chair of Asphalt Green – a not-for-profit in New York encouraging a lifetime of participation in sports and fitness.
Paula received a BS in chemistry, cum laude, from Yale and a PhD in biological chemistry at MIT. She was a member of the MIT Corporation and President of the MIT Alumni Association – earning her the association’s top honor – the Bronze Beaver award. Paula was a member of MIT’s Initiative for Faculty Race and Diversity Advisory Committee. She is an advocate for diversity and ongoing supporter of MIT's Women in Chemistry.