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.
“Improving the aging technology that government and its services runs on was an extremely compelling goal.”
“I love that we prioritize delivering the most meaningful impact to communities that need it the most.”
“The biggest challenge for me has been to face my own imposter syndrome.”
“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.”
“My friends here inspire me. When the work demands 110% from us, we lean on each other until we get “all the things” done.”
“Making responsible decisions about complex issues requires representation at the table where the decisions are being made.”