LASER Focused Webinar Series – September 14, 2022 – Effectively Managing USAID Grants

LASER Focused Webinar Series - September 14, 2022 - Effectively Managing USAID Grants

Panelists from USAID, Purdue University, and Catholic Relief Services will share experiences managing USAID funding, common challenges, and ways to effectively implement grants from USAID. Learn more from researchers, practitioners, and donors about how to more effectively manage your USAID funding post-award.


Dr. Maggie Linak currently works at USAID in the Innovation, Technology, and Research Hub (DDI/ITR) where she focuses on sourcing, piloting, and scaling research and technology innovations for the developing world as part of a network of institutes of higher education called the Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN). These programs span the globe and work to build and understand resilience, support innovation with, for, and by local communities, evaluate systems and approaches to support international development, provide training and research in cross disciplinary areas, and translate research findings to decision makers. Working as a Program Officer, she manages more than a dozen contracts and cooperative agreements while leading the budget, procurement, and planning needs for the ITR Hub. Before coming to USAID she worked for the Senate Majority Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee and is a chemical engineer by training with a background in experimental and computational biomedical research and genetic engineering.

Brent Wells

Brent Wells is a Program Officer at USAID in the Innovation, Technology and Research Hub’s Research Division. His portfolio spans multiple programs where he plays a management role as well as serving as a strategy lead for the Division and focuses on how to build valuable partnerships between global higher education institutions and various stakeholders, both local and international, that can strengthen their capacity to generate high quality research and apply it in practice to communities, programs, and policy to affect real change in the countries where USAID works.

Betty Bugusu

Betty Bugusu is a project management professional with 18+ years of experience leading complex international development projects in food security, nutrition, and education, in various countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. She is currently the Technical Director for LASER PULSE (Long-term Assistance and Services for Research Partners for University-Led Solutions Engine, a USAID-funded program led by Purdue University. She provides technical oversight to LASER PULSE research awards in various USAID focus areas. She oversees all phases of the project’s lifecycle from acquisition to closeouts, including coordinating across program core functions, such as awards contracts, knowledge management, and communications, while ensuring high-quality outputs and donor compliance.

Jessica Bateman

Jessica Bateman, Project Support Manager, Catholic Relief Services, is an agricultural development and public health enthusiast with 15 years of experience in sustainable agriculture and community food security and nutrition programming and award management in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the U.S. She joined CRS in 2012 and spent three years in Zambia leading nutrition activities under a USAID Feed the Future project. She then shifted to CRS’ headquarters and provided award management for a portfolio of USDA McGovern-Dole Food for Education and Food for Progress programs. Currently, Jessica oversees the project support team for Asia and Southern Africa and provides direct award management and project support to a portfolio of USAID-funded projects in Madagascar, Mozambique, Malawi, Lesotho, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Prior to joining CRS, Jessica was a sustainable agriculture Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador, worked with USDA in the Philippines, and focused on domestic food security issues with Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin. Jessica holds a Bachelor’s degree in agricultural and applied economics, and math, and earned a Master’s of Science in agricultural and applied economics, a Master’s of Public Health, and a Global Health Certificate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She currently works remotely from Madison, Wisconsin.