What’s your background?
Before joining USDS, I worked with state, provincial, and federal governments in the U.S. and Canada on sustainable shipping regulations and ocean observing systems. I’ve also worked on a campaign to end illegal fishing globally, and conducted environmental chemistry research aimed at measuring human impacts on coastal ecosystems.
What inspired you to join USDS?
I was inspired to join USDS because technology can do more than entertain and amaze us. Combined with good government, it can be a force for good in people’s lives.
What has been your biggest challenge?
I’m constantly reminded that “better,” isn’t always better for everyone. We’re dealing with huge systems of systems, with lots of actors, misaligned incentives and complicated feedback loops that operate on longer timescales than political cycles. So, sometimes what might seem like an obvious and needed change is met with fierce resistance. It’s our job to take a step back, deeply empathize, and do our best to create a path when the blockers seem irrational to us from our original viewpoint.
How does your work make an impact?
USDS shows what’s possible in a tangible way. Strategy papers have their place, but working software tells a story about providing better service to people that’s hard to ignore.
What do you want to do after USDS?
Continue to work with dedicated, brilliant people trying to make a dent in the universe.
What will you miss most about USDS when you leave?
The people, by far. USDSers are some of the smartest, kindest, most generous, hard-working, fun-loving people I have ever met. Bar none.
“If you are thinking about totally disrupting your comfortable lifestyle and moving to Washington, D.C., for a family adventure like we did...”
“I have many avenues to create impact at USDS, which is what keeps it interesting and fulfilling.”
“There is definitely a need for more women of color to speak tech and government at the same time. I believe in changing the status quo, and more importantly, empowering good people with the right tools, especially in government.”
“USDS’ value is in delivery and building capacity. We’re able to work on projects to take an idea to implementation, and guide teams on best practices for how to continue this momentum even after we’re gone.”
“And my resolve to contribute to the movement was only strengthened when I heard about how USDS works, their values, and the awesome things they had delivered.”
“Everyone is here because they care about people and they want to change things for the better. They're not just coming for a paycheck and that makes a huge difference in the work environment.”
“Serving a tour of duty with USDS is not only good for the country but also a great opportunity for you as a technologist.”