Paula J. Olsiewski

Program Director

  • Paula J. Olsiewski, Ph.D. joined the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation as a Program Director in 2000. Dr. Olsiewski created and directs the Foundation’s programs in Microbiology of the Built Environment and Chemistry of Indoor Environments. Dr. Olsiewski led Sloan’s Biosecurity program until its conclusion in 2011 and the Synthetic Biology program until it’s conclusion in 2014. She also oversees the Foundation's New York City Initiatives program, including the Sloan Public Service Awards, and the Sloan Awards for Excellence in Teaching Science and Mathematics.

    Dr. Olsiewski sits on numerous advisory committees and boards, including serving as the chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors Homeland Security Research Subcommittee at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and is a Board member of the Critical Path Institute. She previously served on the advisory board for the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), a Center of Excellence of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security based at the University of Maryland (2005- 2012). She served on the Board of Advisors for the WMD Center’s Bio-Response Report Card in 2001. She was a member of the MIT Corporation (2003-2009), was President of the MIT Alumni Association (2003-2004), and served on the MIT Initiative for Faculty Race and Diversity Advisory Committee (2008-2009). She was a member of the NRC Committee on Advances in Technology and the Prevention of Their Application to Next Generation Biowarfare Threats, which produced the “Globalization, Biosecurity, and the Future of Life Sciences” report (2006).

    Prior to joining the Foundation, Dr. Olsiewski served in many capacities in the biotech and biomedical community. She directed the New York City Biotechnology Initiative, a state-funded program under the auspices of the New York Biotechnology Association, to improve the region's ability to grow biotechnology companies by fostering relationships between academia and industry. She established and directed the technology licensing office at the Hospital for Special Surgery, an affiliate of Weill Medical College of Cornell University. Dr. Olsiewski has served as a consultant on numerous projects, providing technical analysis of biomedical companies and technologies for investment banking groups and state economic development agencies. She worked for nine years at Enzo Biochem, Inc., a publicly traded biotechnology company, where she directed commercial development activities for a variety of in vitro diagnostic products.

    Dr. Olsiewski received a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Yale College and a Doctorate in biological chemistry from MIT.