In this series you’ll hear stories from USDSers and learn why they decided to join, why they stay, and how their work is making an impact for all Americans.

Tim Best (He/Him), Engineer @ USDS HQ. Previously at Titanic Design. From Clifton Park, NY.

I had seen USDS’s recruitment post on Hacker News but never seriously considered applying until I picked up The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis. For me, the book highlighted how much important work is done by the government and did a great job explaining the importance of knowledgeable and dedicated civil servants. After finishing the book I applied to USDS to help do my part.


In this series you’ll hear stories from USDSers and learn why they decided to join, why they stay, and how their work is making an impact for all Americans.

Amy Gleason (she/her), Team Lead, USDS @ Center for Disease Control. From Wesley Chapel, Florida.

After starting out in nursing, I quickly learned that I loved the ability to drive change using technology, and I initially joined a start up electronic health record (HER) company in Nashville, TN where I got to learn many different skills and try on a lot of hats in both the clinical and practice management. Ready for the start up life again, I moved to Tampa, FL and started at a newly founded electronic medical record company that was building the first cloud-based EHR. I…


By: Quinn Hirsch & Dana Chisnell

Government forms are not known for being simple.

We are committed to improving the delivery of government services for all Americans. Our role within the Office of Management and Budget at the White House — Quinn at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) and Dana at the United States Digital Service (USDS) — is to do just that.

In response to public health concerns resulting from the global pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) enacted an eviction moratorium. The goal of the moratorium was to prevent an unprecedented wave of evictions that could force people…


In this series you’ll hear stories from USDSers and learn why they decided to join, why they stay, and how their work is making an impact for all Americans.

Owen Seely (he/him), UX Researcher & Designer at USDS HQ. Previously at Defense Digital Service. From Fredricksburg, VA.

A love for studying and solving complex problems led me from physics to systems engineering then finally settling on human-computer interaction. Since then, I’ve been working in the federal government for the past 20 years, hacking the bureaucracy and applying human-centered design to the unique challenges that can mostly only be found in government.

What inspired you to join USDS?

Everyone’s journey to USDS is unique. Those differences in experiences, backgrounds, and journeys are part of what makes this place so special…


In March, the U.S. Digital Service hosted a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon with the White House Domestic Policy Council and Gender Policy Council, Girls Who Code, Girls for Gender Equality, and Girls Inc. to improve Wikipedia profiles for underrepresented women in history.

To honor Women’s History Month in 2021, we asked how are women documented in history? Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia which regularly ranks among the top ten most widely-used websites in America, is often the first place one goes to find information about a person or an event. Yet, Wikipedia is battling a “content gender gap,” resulting from a significant lack of female editors and disproportionate coverage of men in Wikipedia profiles. Shockingly less than 10% of editors are women, and only 20% of people profiled in Wikipedia are women, which leads to a systemic bias in how we document history.


In this series you’ll hear stories from USDSers and learn why they decided to join, why they stay, and how their work is making an impact for all Americans.

Camille Hogan (she/her), Procurement @ USDS HQ. Previously at the U.S. Department of Transportation Volpe Center. From Boston, Massachusetts.

I started my civil service career as a summer intern at the General Services Administration after my freshman year of college. I was lucky to have the opportunity to stay on board throughout the school year as a federal co-op student and receive on the job training to become a contract specialist, while also finishing my bachelor’s degree. Growing up I had always wanted to be a lawyer, and when I graduated college I took a leap of faith and continued…


In this series you’ll hear stories from USDSers and learn why they decided to join, why they stay, and how their work is making an impact for all Americans.

Pete in his happy place, on a motorcycle riding somewhere gnarly.

Pete Waterman (he/him), Acting Chief Information Security Officer @ Office of Management & Budget, but normally an engineer @ USDS HQ.

What inspired you to join USDS?

Her name was Laura and she was a scientist who came to DC via the American Association for the Advancement of Science to contribute to federal policy making while learning firsthand about the intersection of science and policy. …


People join USDS from tech communities across the country to do the greatest good, for the greatest number of people, in the greatest need.

When you join USDS, you become part of a community that extends to life after your tour of duty. Since we were founded by the President in 2014, over 500 people have served, modernizing government, shifting culture, and showing what’s possible. Technologists from across the country, representing diverse communities, skillsets, and backgrounds are joining USDS because of our mission. And this year we’ve been able to bring on more new team members than ever before.

This spring, folks are joining to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, improve hiring processes for technologists across government, support communities most impacted by environmental injustice…


Matt Cutts (he/him), Administrator of the U.S. Digital Service

When it was founded in 2014, the U.S. Digital Service was a dozen or so technologists staring down the intimidating task of modernizing government services. All had big hearts and even bigger appetites to make the federal government more accessible and understandable to the millions of people who rely on it.

Almost seven years later, we are a team of 180 with a network of over 500 alumni. Some alumni have gone on to become career federal leaders, including CIOs and CTOs at the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Veterans Affairs, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and beyond…


When USDS was founded in 2014, private sector technologists began taking a one-to-four year breaks from their careers to serve in the federal government to improve critical services. After nearly six and a half years, some USDSers have returned for round two. In this series, we will highlight those “boomerang” USDSers on their experiences serving and returning.

Kathy Pham (she/her), Product @ USDS HQ. Currently Harvard, Mozilla & USDS. First served at USDS from November 2014 to March 2018.

I originally joined USDS in November 2014. It was the first time in my career that I found a place that combined my passions for technology, healthcare, product, and service. Before that, I spent either volunteer time, or side projects on what the companies considered impact — immigration services, K-12 education, equity in tech, food insecurity, and more. …

U.S. Digital Service

The United States Digital Service is a tech startup working across the Federal government to deliver better services to the American people. www.usds.gov

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store