Setting the Standards
more than two decades of acquisition and program
management experience in the public and private
First off, what does “acquisition” mean at
It’s about more than procurement and contracting. Our workforce includes an integrated acquisition team: the project and program managers, the
contracting officers, the legal representatives, the
finance teams, end users and even contractors. The
academy ensures that we’re training this entire
community and providing learning opportunities
that bring its members together to enable a more
efficient and effective acquisition system.
Longtime employees in the baby boomer generation began retiring during the 2000s, taking project
and program management expertise with them.
Leaders at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
(VA), a PMI Global Executive Council member,
took notice. In 2008, the VA—the second-largest
U.S. federal agency—acted to mature its acquisition
and project management capabilities. It created the
VA Acquisition Academy, which trains civil servants to contract services and manage contractors,
and prepares them for Office of Management and
Budget federal certifications.
Since January 2013, Melissa Starinsky has overseen the Academy’s five schools, including its
Program Management School. Ms. Starinksy has