OVW STOP and SASP Program Managers

Good afternoon.  I hope that everyone remains safe and healthy.  Please see below for staff updates from OVW.   Amy also attaches a Final State Assignments spreadsheet identifying STOP and SASP Program Managers.

Thank you,




“Good afternoon Administrators and Coalition Directors.


I hope this email finds you well. I apologize in advance for the very long email, but I am writing to make you aware of several exciting changes at OVW.


I am pleased to announce that we have hired Emma WestRasmus to join our team. While Emma is new Program Manager, she is not new to OVW. She has been at OVW for three years, initially as a Policy Analyst and most recently as a Research & Evaluation Analyst. In those capacities, Emma worked with the Legal, Policy, and Evaluation teams on policy development, Congressional inquiries, improving progress reporting and grantee metrics, and assisting with the Research & Evaluation and Training and Technical Assistance grant programs. Her portfolio also included improving workplace responses to sexual harassment and violence, SANE/SAFE exam protocol revisions, and a number of tribal issues.


Prior to joining OVW, Emma worked in Lima, Peru, as the Communications Director and Field Advocate for the Centro de Desarrollo de la Mujer Negra Peruana (The Afro-Peruvian Women’s Development Center), working with local, national, and international stakeholders to address family violence and the stark racial disparities among the Afro-Peruvian community. While at the Center, Emma helped lead a successful campaign to include ethnic identifiers on the Peruvian census for the first time in 80 years, with the goal of creating a rich data set to capture the realities of Afro-Peruvian communities in order to drive inclusive and transformative policy change.


Emma’s background also includes engaging healthcare provision and wealth and asset-building as tools to address sexual violence and build economic, gender, and racial equity. She served as a Special Advisor for Policy and Communications at the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, a national advocacy organization addressing fair housing & lending and the racial wealth divide, as a researcher at the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus on culturally-competent care provision, and as a policy fellow at Children’s Dental Clinic, a non-profit dental clinic in Minneapolis, MN, connecting immigrant families with social services.


We are excited to have her join our team. She is an excellent addition to our unit. I am sure many of you will see her appear in a zoom box and I hope that you will get the opportunity to meet her in the not too distant future.


Emma’s arrival is allowing us to make changes that have been planned for quite some time, but have not been implemented due to a shortage in staffing. As some of you are aware, Melissa Schmisek was promoted to Team Lead. This position requires Melissa take on a leadership role in addition to her grants management responsibilities. In order to fully embrace her role as a Team Lead, Melissa will have to decrease some of her grants management responsibilities. Currently, Melissa manages all of the SASP Formula awards. Now that we are fully staffed, Emma, Kevin, Latonya and Omar will assume the management of the majority of the SASP Formula awards. Melissa will retain 14 SASP awards in her portfolio.


Melissa has been the only Program Manager for the SASP Formula Program since its inception. I know that SASP has more than a special place in her heart, so this change comes with mixed feelings. She will remain actively engaged with the SASP, it will just be in a slightly different capacity. Certainly, we will rely heavily upon her experience and expertise as we move forward. Thank you, Melissa, for all of your work and passion.


I have attached the new grant assignments to this email. The changes will take effect on September 1, 2020. We are taking steps to make the transition as smooth as possible. Your new Program Manager will be reaching out to you once the changes take effect to introduce themselves and get to know you and your projects.


You may contact me if you have any questions about the changes I have outlined.


Be well.