Photo of Hank Knaack
Pronouns: He/Him
Community of practice: Design
City of origin: Phoenix, Arizona
Previously at: UX Consultancy
Tour status: Staff

Hank Knaack

What’s your background?

My background is in user research and interface design for startup and enterprise products in education, financial, real estate, and fitness. I’ve had experience working and volunteering with nonprofits, was in Americorps, and before moving to D.C. had participated in Hack for L.A.: a weekly meet up to create tech solutions or work arounds for community members interacting with the city. This gave me an appetite to tackle civic minded problems at scale.

How does your work make an impact?

I have many avenues to create impact at USDS, which is what keeps it interesting and fulfilling: working directly on user experience challenges for systems that process immigrant applications for green cards or Temporary Protected Status, helping the Department of Homeland Security procure better contractors who build interfaces that Americans and immigrants use regularly to communicate with the government, and developing long-term strategy for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

What do you want to do after USDS?

I would love to bring a “digital service”-esque work style and philosophy to another market that would benefit from it; back in L.A. or my hometown. From my experience interacting with city or state government folks, there’s an appetite for it and many exciting things are already starting to take place in Georgia, Austin, Sacramento, etc. I want to keep the civic tech momentum going!

What will you miss most about USDS when you leave?

When I leave USDS I’ll miss working with such an intelligent, caring, and hardworking people who make it fun to come to work everyday. Even when the work gets tough, they can remind you why you’re here: to help the American people.

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