Translation: This is a USAID term, as far as I know. CTO stands for cognizant technical officer. The cognizant technical officer is the representative of the contracting officer and responsible for the day-to-day management of a grant or contract. The CTO approves your workplan, approves your key personnel, and manages the various types of bureaucracy that affect your project. As a rule, you can assume your CTO is on your side and wants your project to succeed and look good doing it. Considering how much time and energy they will put into managing your project, he or she will be as emotionally invested in its success as you are. They will be your advocate with the other actors in the USAID bureaucracy.