Management Office

The Management Office of the FTF Legume Innovation Lab is committed to:
  • Quality, client-oriented management
  • Excellence in all aspects of program implementation
  • Innovation for effectiveness and efficiency
  • Honesty and integrity
  • Access, transparency, and consultation with all partners
Management Office Roles and Administrative Responsibilities
  1. Establishment and management of a portfolio of quality, innovative and effective research, training, and outreach projects related to grain legumes that address the needs of grain legume value-chain stakeholders, policy makers, and development professionals. This role entails setting up a competitively selected project portfolio, establishing subagreements with participating institutions, facilitating communications within and among projects to promote multidisciplinary collaboration, maximize synergies, and avoid duplication, and being the primary point of contact for USAID to obtain information on progress and outputs from Legume Innovation Lab activities.
  2. Track progress of subawards, prepare annual technical and financial reports, synthesize information to formulate coherent program results and lessons learned, and distribute program information to partners and stakeholders, including the international agriculture development community.
  3. Fulfill financial management and reporting responsibilities to USAID.
  4. Develop, implement, and actively participate in program-level strategies to gain additional support and resources for broader developmental outcomes and impacts.
  5. Administer Associate Awards received from USAID country missions and regional bureaus.
  6. Contribute to the goals of USAID Feed the Future Innovation Labs Council and provide intellectual leadership in a focal area for developmental impact (e.g., health and nutrition). 
  7. Serve as the primary point of contact for USAID and act as an on-call advisor and intellectual resource to USAID on substantive issues and technical assistance services associated with grain legumes.
Management Office Staff and Functions
  Director: Dr. Irvin Widders''
  • Oversees day-to-day programmatic and financial management of the Legume Innovation Lab
  • Monitors the technical aspects of the projects and organizes activities to facilitate achievement of program goals
  • Administers the RFP process for subawards and associate awards
  • Assures compliance with USAID and MSU regulations and guidelines
  • Serves as a primary contact for the USAID CTO, PIs, advisory groups, and the grain legume industry and responds to requests for information
  • Coordinates activities and serves as the primary interface with program advisory groups (Technical Management Advisory Committee, External Advisory Panel, and Administrative Advisory Committee)
Deputy Director: Dr. Cynthia Donovan
  • Serves operationally as the secondary administrative officer in line with USAID guidelines and MSU regulations and procedures
  • Oversees the MO in the director’s absence
  • Performs administrative support functions for the Legume Innovation Lab's training and capacity building efforts
  • Assists the director in management and evaluation of projects and in organizing activities to facilitate overall technical achievements
  • Maintains a trainee database
  • Synthesizes information and prepares annual research/training reports and briefs highlighting major results and achievements
Administrative Officer: Angelica P. Santos''
  • Assists MSU's Office of Contract and Grant Administration in establishing subagreements with U.S. and Host Country institutions participating in Legume Innovation Lab projects
  • Prepares and processes amendments to subagreements for the obligation or payment of funds
  • Maintains computerized financial records of all projects and monitors total program expenditures against obligations and institutional cost share
  • Prepares financial reports, including pipeline, accruals for USAID
  • Organizes and conducts workshops for financial officers, as appropriate
  • Conducts site visits to resolve fiscal problems
  • Conducts informal internal audits of projects
  • Processes MSU travel notifications and requests for equipment purchases


Communications Manager: Dr. Marguerite A. Halversen

  • Plans and manages communications and publications for the Legume Innovation Lab, including annual technical and highlights reports
  • Develops and executes external media for Legume Innovation Lab projects and researchers 
  • Develops and maintains Legume Innovation Lab Website
  • Writes articles on Legume Innovation Lab achievements for internal and external audiences as well as stakeholders
  • Synthesizes information and prepares reports and press releases highlighting major results and achievements of Legume Innovation Lab researchers

Accountant: Melissa Tompkins

  • Reconciles project accounts as funds are used within each project
  • Processes invoices
  • Processes travel documents (i.e., expense reports)
  • Manages visa compliance for international students to assure their positions in the U.S. are ongoing until degree completion


Dr. Luis Flores

  • Project Coordinator for the MASFRIJOL Associate Award project
  • Manages day-to day project reporting for MASFRIJOL''
  • Monitors MASFRIJOL's progress toward its expected outcomes
  • Project Coordinator for the Agriculture Sustainable Improvement (MAS) project
  • Manages day-to day project reporting for the Agriculture Sustainable Improvement (MAS) project
  • Monitors the Agriculture Sustainable Improvement (MAS) project's progress toward its expected outcomes

Dr. Mywish Maredia
  • Serves as the impact assessment resource person for the Legume Innovation Lab''
  • Serves as the M&E (Monitoring and Evaluation) resource person for the Legume Innovation Lab
  • Serves as Principal Investigator to the UILTCB Program
  • Provides oversight on UILTCB project implementation, monitoring, and reporting requirements

Dr. Celina Wille

  • Manages the USAID Initiative for long-term training and capacity building (UILTCB), in coordination with USAID missions in Ghana, Zambia, and Malawi''
  • Serves as Co-PI on the study Tracking, Monitoring and Evaluation of UILTCB-Supported Trainees
  • Provides technical support and extension education expertise in the implementation of MASFRIJOL, a Legume Innovation Lab Associate Award project in theWestern Highlands of Guatemala


Contact Us Management Office, Feed the Future Legume Innovation Lab, Michigan State University, Justin S Morrill Hall of Agriculture, 446 W. Circle Drive, Room 321 East Lansing, Michigan 48824-1039; Tel: (517) 355-4693 Email: Web: 


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