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Elena Ponyaeva is a seasoned project manager with operational and programmatic experience in supporting USAID-funded projects, and an academic background in conflict management. In her current position as a senior project manager, she provides operational, contractual and financial oversight for a portfolio of projects in MSI’s democracy and governance service area. Elena’s practical expertise includes grants and subcontractor management, and she is experienced in working with various stakeholders in different parts of the world, including civil society organizations, the private sector and local governments in Russia, Georgia, Kosovo, Serbia and Colombia. She holds a master's degree in international economics and conflict management from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).