Tonya Alston relishes helping clients achieve their missions to uplift communities and improve lives
Tonya Alston knows that her lived experiences have shaped the person and leader she is today. So, it only makes sense that her role is to help ICF secure more projects that both allow us to solve our clients’ complex challenges and embody our values.
From consulting and nonprofit founder to ordained minister and adjunct professor, versatility has defined Tonya’s career path—and life story. Now as our vice president of federal acquisition and business development, she helps secure public sector projects ranging from cybersecurity, digital transformation, health, social programs, and workforce and human capital that align with ICF’s purpose: to build a more prosperous and resilient world for all.
Life experiences set the stage
Tonya's dynamic upbringing and early adulthood instilled a spirit of service in her that manifests through her personal and professional work. The daughter of a government officer and from a large family with roots in Washington, D.C., and North Carolina, she’s no stranger to the power of service and helping others in their times of need.
In 2009, after settling into a promising federal career, Tonya suffered a near-death experience. Tapping into her resilient will, she learned how to walk again and regained cognitive functions. Several years later, after recovering from her own trials, she founded her ministry—Healing the Living—focused on helping women transition from homelessness into a better life.
And she brings this same passion to her work at ICF.
“ICF’s founding story as a venture capital company focused on supporting minority-owned businesses in Washington, D.C., and the company’s purpose really resonated with me. The work we do today still aligns with our founding purpose and my own personal mission to deliver projects that change lives for the better.”
Improving quality of life for people and communities
Professionally, Tonya is focused on providing opportunities for others. She has sought every opportunity to learn the ins and outs of government to increase her positive impact for those in need.
Before joining ICF in 2022, she spent nearly 20 years in federal service, 13 of them directly supporting the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. Tonya used this expertise to stand up her own consultancy, to grow and develop businesses, both small and large.
At ICF, Tonya is leveraging her extensive track record as a federal acquisition leader to completely transform our proposal process, streamlining how we develop and submit project proposals while showcasing our robust subject matter expertise. Although she’s only been with ICF for a little over a year, Tonya partnered with our offerings and capture leads to scale our business and solidify our largest single-win award to date to provide analytical support services for a major federal client.
Expanding her impact
By building and strengthening strategic relationships with federal contracting officers and contracting officer representatives, Tonya is deepening the connections between our lines of business and the agencies we serve. Her new role as vice president of federal acquisition and business development allows her to build on the proposals we win to address more issues that will impact generations to come.
And she continues to improve lives outside of work as well, through her ministry and by supporting numerous nonprofit organizations in the Washington, D.C., area and beyond—Sisters Place and The Shelter, domestic violence shelters; So Others Might Eat and Food and Friends, meal providers for those in need; The Orphanage; Women Giving Back; transitional housing programs; and many others.
Tonya spends her free time exercising, playing tennis, trying new plant-based restaurants, and spending time with her daughter and dog.