Director, Office of Acquisitions (OA)
Olga Acosta-Polston is responsible for planning and directing all NICHD OA operations, as well as managing the research and development, station support, and simplified acquisition contracting programs for NICHD, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the John E. Fogarty International Center for Advanced Study in the Health Sciences, and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.
Ms. Acosta-Polston began her NIH career in 1991 as a contract specialist in the Office of Research Services’ Construction Contracts Branch, where she later became Branch Chief. During her time there, she awarded and administered large, complex multimillion dollar architectural-engineering, construction, and quality control service projects that supported the NIH research mission.
In 2000, she and a team of NIH employees received then-Vice President Al Gore’s “Hammer Award” for their significant contributions in support of reinventing government principles by developing, improving and maintaining the NIH Contractor Performance System.
She joined the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in 2003 and held various management positions at the institute, including OA Deputy Director. During her time there she was responsible for acquisition policy and operations, training, and the NIAID Purchase Card Program. At the same time, Ms. Acosta-Polston provided key leadership and advice in research and development contracting, facilities contracting, and simplified acquisitions. She also served as the NIH Business System advocate for NIAID.
Ms. Acosta-Polston earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Maryland and a project management certificate from Georgetown University.