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Outstanding Staff Accomplishments Celebrated at Abt Associates Annual Meeting

Rockville, Md.—Abt Associates recognized the outstanding achievements of 36 staff members across the company at its annual meeting today. 

“I want to congratulate this year’s award winners for their significant contributions to our company and the fields in which we work,” said Abt President and CEO Kathleen Flanagan.  “We continue to have a major impact in improving the lives of people around the world as we stay true to our mission and live our values.”  

Clark Abt Prize for Outstanding Social Impact

Tanzania Public Sector Systems Strengthening Project, or PS3.

Emmanuel Malangalila, Sheila O’Dougherty, Gemini Mtei, Desderi Wengaa, Suma Kaare, Bernard Kilembe, Perpetua Ngogo, and posthumously to Bethany Tomala and Flora Kessy, and their entire 55-person team.

The Clark Abt Prize, named after the company’s founder, recognizes our most socially impactful work.

Tanzania PS3 helps the Government of Tanzania strengthen national systems and promote the delivery, quality, and use of public services, particularly for underserved populations. With PS3’s support, all public health facilities—nearly 25,000 schools and health facilities—are using a redesigned web-based program to improve planning, budgeting, and reporting, resulting in efficiency gains and more realistic budgets.  Through the project, Abt helped all 185 Local Government Authorities use evidence to better distribute 6,200 new health workers across the country. With the foundation PS3 has laid, more than 60 million Tanzanians can access improved health, education, social welfare, nutrition, agriculture, water, roads, and infrastructure services.

Outstanding Scientific Impact
Jacob Klerman, Lauren Olsho, and Chris Logan for their work on the Healthy Incentives Pilot, an experimental evaluation of a financial incentive to increase fruit and vegetable purchases among Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program–or SNAP–participants. This nutrition assistance program serves approximately 40 million low-income Americans, who are disproportionately likely to fall short of recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption.

This team found that a 30% price incentive/rebate moderately increased fruit and vegetable consumption among SNAP participants. Interestingly, results showed increases in intake of 100% fruit juice, which was not eligible to earn the rebate.

Technical Innovation Award

Emily Mangone, Habeeb Akande, Bolanle Olusola-Faleye, Michael Pedro, Abdu Adamu, Flora Nwagagbo, and Ekpenyong Ekanem for their work in building the TB Screening and Tracking for Accelerated Referral and Reporting app, or TB STARR, in Nigeria. The app provides tailored screening questions for healthcare providers, enables simpler sample and results submission, and reports cases to the National TB and Leprosy Control Program. TB STARR has the potential for rapid scale. In addition, the app can be rapidly updated to accommodate testing requirements for COVID-19.

Jerry Stedge and Brad Firlie for their work on the Enterprise Risk Register (ERR), an innovative, cloud-based, enterprise-level application that reduces the uncertainty around project risk estimates. The ERR helps the US Army Corps of Engineers manage the planning, design, construction, and operations of thousands of projects around the world, ranging from flood levees to the construction of hospitals to care for US war veterans.

Enterprise Innovation Award

Lisa Ashcraft, Val Bloomberg, Sean Fitzpatrick, Brianna Hill, Anna Rose, Amanda Vestal, and their procurement teams for taking the company through a rigorous process to gain Contractor Purchasing System Review approval from the federal government. As one of a few contractors with an approved purchasing systems, Abt is now considered a trusted contractor as it pertains to acquisition compliance.

Outstanding Entrepreneurial Accomplishment

Lori Hunter for her work on building a new digital delivery business line. She spearheaded the development of our U.S.-based “Digital Delivery” business and partnered closely with colleagues in our divisions of Health and Environment and Social and Economic Policy to sell these new capabilities to new and existing clients, resulting in a significant revenue gain.


For Outstanding Project Management Leadership

Julio Pacca and Denise Jacobson for their work starting up and managing ECHO, a large and complex project looking to improve clinical HIV outcomes in Mozambique.  Denise and Julio’s leadership met contractually required targets so thoroughly that the client awarded more funding, and the project received recognition from the Office of HIV/AIDS as exemplar of successful project transition.

Godfrey Karera Kasiita for his work on VectorLink in Rwanda, where he filled in as interim COP in the middle of a spray campaign.  His strategic relationship building with local governments helped the VectorLink team mobilize community teams to support the project’s outcomes. Godfrey’s leadership enabled the project to achieve 98.3% spray coverage, thus protecting roughly 1,230,000 people in Rwanda from malaria.

For Outstanding Change Leadership

Eric Tischler, for his work to develop and produce Abt’s monthly podcast, The Intersect. Eric works with colleagues throughout the company to showcase their expertise and thought leadership to broad and cross-cutting audiences, as well as the varying perspectives we bring to our work. The podcast has increased awareness of Abt’s digital capabilities, led to op-eds in influential outlets, and increased client and media engagement.

Alex Gutierrez, who created a targeted communications approach to both employees and supervisors to remind people of deadlines and roles in timecard submission. He worked with teams across HR, Finance, Legal, and Digital to perfect the cadence of communications for timecard reminders. The average number of delayed timecards dropped by nearly 80% due to his efforts.

Olga Faktorovich Allen, for her years-long work on sustainability at Abt, beginning with the development and launch of the company’s first corporate sustainability initiative plan in 2012. She subsequently worked with colleagues to identify a 25% greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target for 2021, which was met four years early.  Under her direction, Abt’s bi-annual, GHG inventory is externally and rigorously verified, we have created an annual sustainability report. Olga also has developed an award-winning, comprehensive Environmental Sustainability Program.

Jenny Castellano, for her work to develop a common way of measuring and assessing project management so there would be consistency and clear expectations across all projects in our portfolio. Her commitment to rigorous documentation and patient coaching of project directors has led to increased accountability.  She did this while serving as acting operations director for SEP for six-months.

About Abt Associates
Abt Associates uses data and bold thinking to improve the quality of people’s lives worldwide. From increasing crop yields and combatting infectious disease, to ensuring safe drinking water and promoting access to affordable housing—and more—we partner with clients and communities to tackle their most complex challenges.

Mary F. Maguire

North America
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