Webinar: 2023 Virtual Exchange Grant Competition (Budget and Compliance)

Event Details
  • Date

    September 20, 2023

  • Time

    11:00 am - 12:00 pm
    U.S. Eastern Time

  • Location


This webinar addresses building a program budget using the template in the call for proposals, the U.S. government uniform guidance and allowable costs, and regulations for administering a federal award.

The 2023 Virtual Exchange Grant Competition and the JCSVEI is supported by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The Stevens Initiative, which is housed at the Aspen Institute, administers JCSVEI.

Omar Alsawalha is a Finance and Operations Manager at the Stevens Initiative, where he oversees the Initiative’s financial, operational, and contractual functions. Omar’s areas of expertise include U.S. federal government awards, United Nations and foundations funding, and contracts and affiliation agreements with U.S. state and local governments. Prior to joining the Initiative, Omar served for more than six years as Finance Officer with iMMAP Inc., an international humanitarian assistance non-profit organization. Previously, he served as Procurement Administrator with the United Nations World Food Programme’s Regional Emergency Office, which focused on the crisis in Syria. Omar, originally from Jordan, holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting with a minor in commercial law.

Alexa Pinto is a Program Associate at the Stevens Initiative, where she supports the Initiative’s 2023 grant portfolio and competition. Alexa most recently worked as a Program Associate for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, where she assisted in curating professional development programs for scientists and engineers in the federal government. Prior to that, Alexa supported the Education department at the National Geographic Society and the Bolder Advocacy team at Alliance for Justice. A New York native, Alexa graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a BA in Anthropology. There she focused on sociocultural anthropology and historical archaeology, and conducted research in South America and the United States. In her free time, Alexa enjoys reading, trying new restaurants, and spending time with her enormous dog, Hugo.

Andie Shafer is a Program Manager at the Stevens Initiative, where she oversees the Initiative’s grant portfolio. During her time with the Initiative, Andie has supported over 40 virtual exchange programs and brings a bird’s-eye view of the virtual exchange landscape to her work with partners. Andie also supports the evaluation of grant programs and helps practitioners build capacity to scale their programming. Andie previously worked with the Aspen Institute’s Middle East Program, where she focused on education, vocational training, and entrepreneurship in North Africa. Andie spent time on the Obama reelection campaign in 2012, advancing events for the President, prior to her time at the Aspen Institute. Andie, a proud Michigander, holds a B.A. in public policy from the University of Michigan. She is based in Seattle.