OMB Uniform Guidance

2 CFR 200 Training

In this training, Gil Tran, from OMB, delivers humor, story telling and expert insights to increase grant knowledge, identify key implementation areas in the Uniform Guidance, and share best practice.

Uniform Guidance Training (1:16:09)

Resource: Presentation Deck

This Q&A session brings together federal, state and local experts who answer questions about indirect costs.

Uniform Guidance Q&A (36:49)

Panelists (from left to right): Mak Karim (HHS-CAS), Gil Tran (EOP/OMB), Nicky Lettini (CostTree), Janet Turner (HHS-CAS), Deborah Moberly, (Dept. of Interior – IBC), Wendy Tully (CAL OES), and John Isaacson (CAL OES). Full bios of our panelists can be found below.

The general training and Q&A session was hosted by the City of Los Angeles on September 22, 2016.

More Uniform Guidance video trainings: 


Gil Tran, EOP/OMB

Gil Tran is a senior policy analyst with the Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Office of Federal Financial Management.  His main responsibilities are to develop and analyze policies and standards for OMB circulars on cost principles and audit requirements for Federal programs, specifically Circular A‐21, “Cost Principles for Educational Institutions”, Circular A‐87, “”Cost Principles for State, Local and Indian Tribal Governments,” Circular A‐122, “Cost Principles for Non‐Profit Organizations”, and Circular A‐133, “Audits of State and Local Governments and Non-Profit Organizations.”  Mr. Tran serves as point of contact for all Federal agencies on the implantation and interpretation of those circulars. 

Mr. Tran was responsible for updating OMB Circular A‐87 in 1995 and led many initiatives to revise OMB Circulars A‐21 and A‐122 since 1995.  He served on the Presidential Review Directive Task Force to study the government-university partnership for research, participated in drafting P.L. 106-107, “Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act of 1999,” and is currently coordinating the government efforts to streamline grants management and create a searchable database for grants, contracts and loans.  

Mr. Tran received a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from George Mason University, Virginia.  He is a certified public accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.  

Panel Speakers

Federal Panelist: Deborah A Moberly, MPA, DOI-IBC

Deborah A. Moberly is the Office Chief for Indirect Cost Services in the Financial Management Directorate of the Department of Interior’s Interior Business Center.  Deborah has over 35 years of experience conducting audits and evaluations in the federal and private sectors.  Deborah joined the Indirect Cost Services team as the Deputy Indirect Cost Coordinator in August 2004 and became its Chief in December 2005.  Indirect Cost Services negotiates and approves indirect cost rates on behalf of the Department of the Interior and ten other federal agencies.  Annually, Deborah approves over 1,500 indirect cost rates for about 1,200 non-federal entities including Native American, state and local governments, and non-profits. Deborah interacts with a number of tribal and non-profit organizations and conducts seminars on indirect cost topics. 

Deborah earned a Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California in August 2003 and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and Information Systems from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.  She resides in Sacramento, California.  

Federal Paneliest: Arif “Mak” Karim, HHS-CAS

As Director of Cost Allocation Services (CAS) leads federal staff of 50 professional accountants located in four regional offices; New York, San Francisco, Bethesda and Dallas. His office negotiates Indirect Cost Rates and Cost Allocation Plans with State, Local & Tribal Governments, Hospitals, Colleges/Universities and Non-Profit Organizations, on behalf of the Federal Government.  Rates and Plans negotiated by his office authorize reimbursement of overhead expenses associated with administering the Federal awards.

Mr. Karim has been with HHS/CAS for 27 years; he started in the Northeastern Field Office in NY in 1990, relocated to Washington D.C. in 1999 and was promoted to branch chief. At the request of the senior leadership relocated again to the Central States Field Office in Dallas and was promoted to National Director in 2010 with responsibility for all four CAS offices.

Throughout his Federal career, he has conducted numerous negotiations involving high dollar non-Federal entities that have resulted in millions of dollars in cost avoidance and cash recoveries to the Federal Government. He transitioned CAS from a paper based to paperless organization with Rate Agreement hosting capabilities. He has worked with OMB on the new Uniform Guidance and assisted on cutting edge cost allocation issues. He continues to assist HHS Policy, OIG and NIH on costing issues and audit resolutions. He has formed an Indirect Cost Work Group with other Federal Agencies to address grantee concerns on Uniform Guidance and other regulatory issues. Prior to joining the Federal Government, he was an entrepreneur in the private sector where he owned multiple businesses. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the State University of New York (Old Westbury).

State Panel Speakers: Mr. John Isaacson and Ms. Wendy Tully, California (Governor's) Office of Emergency Services

State Panelist:  Wendy Tully

Wendy Tully is Chief of the Human Trafficking & Children’s Grants Division at the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). Wendy administers approximately $85 million in grant funding to 30 different programs, with 222 projects. She has over 18 years of experience developing and administering grant programs for both public safety and victim services providers. Wendy currently oversees funding to several notable programs, including:   

  • Human Trafficking Victim Assistance;
  • Child Abuse Treatment;
  • Homeless Youth and Exploitation;
  • Bullying and School Violence Advocacy; and
  • Drug Endangered Children Training.

Wendy has a Master’s Degree in Sociology, with a focus on Criminology. Prior to joining Cal OES, Wendy spent 11 years working for the California Attorney General’s Office in its Crime and Violence Prevention Center as its Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Program Manager. While there, Wendy worked on several statewide public awareness campaigns including one on the horrible effects of methamphetamine use, and another that encouraged adults not to provide alcohol to minors.

State Panelist:  John Isaacson

John is Chief of the Public Safety Grants Division at the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). John administers approximately $100 million in grant funding to 20 different programs, with 185 projects. He has over 37 years of experience developing and administering grant programs for homeland security, emergency management, public safety, and victim services providers. John currently oversees funding to several notable programs, including:   

  • Crime Lab Improvement;
  • Internet Crimes Against Children;
  • Public Prosecutor and Public Defender Training;
  • Vertical Prosecution; and
  • Victim / Witness Assistance.

John has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, with a focus on Public Policy Development. Prior to joining Cal OES, John spent 5 years working for the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security (OHS) as its Grants Program Manager. While there, John developed the State of California’s annual Threat Assessment Investment Justification, which was later used as a best practices model. He also participated on several federal grant application review panels.  Prior to joining OHS, John spent 17 years working for the Governor’s Office of Criminal Justice Planning (OCJP).  While there, John managed a variety of federal grants that targeted drug enforcement, child abuse and violence against women.

Expert Panelist: Nicky Lettini, MBA – Founder and CEO of CostTree, LLC

Founder and CEO of CostTree, brings nearly two decades of experience in the cost allocation world. Nicky has prepared over 600 complete cost plans (helping clients recover over $500 million in missed reimbursements), and advised governments, nonprofits and private organizations on how to build, manage and maintain effective cost allocation strategies.

As a panelist, Nicky will address questions about building federal cost allocation plans, preparing indirect cost rate proposals, and managing cross-jurisdictional P&L's. Her in-depth experience working across the country with state and local governments (with concentrated experience in California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado), and an excellent working rapport with State Controller staffs, allows her to provide insights unique to the grant recipient community.


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