Category: Insights

XLA and AFAC Kick-Off Partnership with 2 Events in April!

XLA and AFAC Kick-Off Partnership with 2 Events in April!

During the month of April, XLA participated in and sponsored two events in support of our new partnership with the Arlington Food and Assistance Center (AFAC).


On April 19th, an energetic group of XLA employees went to the AFAC distribution center in Shirlington to pack “weekend backpacks” of healthy food for local children in Arlington. The event was a huge success, and the team was able to pack over 200 bags worth of food that will be distributed to those children in need.



On April 29th, XLA sponsored the 5th annual BbG Obstacle Course Race to support AFAC.  XLA had two teams participate in the race and a number of employees volunteer with race-day events and fantastic cheering.  The 5K Obstacle Course was held in Arlington, VA at Potomac Park and followed scenic trails on the outskirts of Washington, D.C.  Obstacles included an army crawl, stream crossing, pushups, and burpees!  XLA CEO Gary Slack was on hand to provide some motivational words to the teams before the race.  Gary also expressed his thanks to AFAC for their contribution to our community and our newly formed partnership.  Throughout the race, XLA employees worked together as a team to motivate each other and finish the race– it was a great opportunity to build comradery and demonstrate true teamwork.  With the help of XLA and other generous donors, the event raised over $7,000 for AFAC!



XLA was proud to sponsor such a wonderful organization and we look forward to our events in the future.  Check out our social media pages to find out when the next event will be scheduled!


XLA Wins $25 Million IDIQ to Support USAID’s Middle East and North Africa Region

XLA Wins $25 Million IDIQ to Support USAID’s Middle East and North Africa Region


XLA has won a significant contract with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The Indefinite Delivery/ Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract has a ceiling value of $25 million, a one-year base, and four 12-month option years.


USAID requires responsive, efficient, and reliable support services for the Middle East Regional Platform (MERP) and Missions and offices in the MENA region, including Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Tunisia, Turkey, and Yemen. For economies to become resilient and prosper, the MENA region depends upon organizations like USAID to provide support and resolve such issues as slow economic growth, high unemployment, and scarce resources including water. XLA will directly support USAID’s mission to “end extreme poverty and promote resilient, democratic societies while advancing our security and prosperity.”


Services XLA will provide to USAID through task orders issued under the MENA Support Services IDIQ contract include support for:

  • Acquisitions and assistance (A&A)

    View of mosque minaret and dome in Damascus, Syria

    View of mosque minaret and dome in Damascus, Syria

  • Administrative management
  • Financial management
  • Technical sector support
  • Program office

XLA has built a strong relationship with USAID over the last 20 years and are thrilled to extend this longstanding partnership through this important initiative.


“Our team has a proven track record of executing successful projects in similar environments, and our qualified expert staff are at the heart of the success.”,  XLA Chief Executive Officer and President Gary Slack said.


If you are interested in opportunities supporting USAID and its mission refer to XLA’s website for job openings.


Young Foreign Policy Leaders Revealed: XLA’s “Karina Plascencia” Chosen as one of the 40 under 40 Latinos in Foreign Policy

Young Foreign Policy Leaders Revealed: XLA’s “Karina Plascencia” Chosen as one of the 40 under 40 Latinos in Foreign Policy


XLA is proud to announce that along with pop singer Selena Gomez, multiple CEO’s, and foreign policy advisors to U.S. Congressmen, our very own Juana “Karina” Plascencia from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Bureau was selected as one of the 40 Under 40 Latino’s to watch for in Foreign Policy and International Affairs (The Huffington Post). In our interview with Karina, she discusses what it means to her to be selected as a rising star in foreign policy and what made her get into the field of work.


Growing up the daughter of migrant farm workers in rural Oregon, when Karina would visit her parent’s hometown in Mexico, she noticed that the children in Mexico were amazed that she knew how to spell her name and how to read.


“It wasn’t until I was older that I realized that the children I played with along with so many people in the world did not have the same access to education and other important services we sometimes take for granted.”


From that experience and growing up in a bilingual household, Karina was inspired to pursue a career where she could learn about different cultures and languages, while also being able to help people in developing countries get better access to basic needs.


That desire eventually led her to pursue a degree in International Politics and International Development from Georgetown University.  During her undergraduate studies, she interned for USAID.  After graduation, she found a way to come back to USAID with the help of XLA.


Karina feels honored to have been nominated and selected to the ‘40 under 40’ list that includes many rising leaders from other government agencies.


“I go to work every day excited to learn something new and be able to help prepare my leadership as best I can to enable them to make decisions that will not only be in the best interest of the U.S. but also help the most vulnerable populations in the developing countries we work with.” “It is a great honor to know that my little grain of salt is being noticed and is helping make an impact.”


Karina added,  “It is a pleasure to work with so many men and women, both USAID and XLA employees, who are dedicated and passionate about helping people in Haiti, Colombia, Nicaragua and all the other countries they work.” “Every day is like a new episode of CNN forcing you to stay up to date on current events and making you break out of your comfort zone.


Karina’s recognition shows the professional and personal achievement of an outstanding individual, and we at XLA are honored to have her as an employee. She works diligently day in and day out to accomplish a noteworthy mission and her contributions to USAID have not gone unnoticed.