Photo of Whitney Teal
Pronouns: She/Her
Community of practice: Communications
City of origin: Fort Worth, TX
Tour status: Staff

Whitney Teal

Why did you join USDS?

I’ve always looked for work that sits at the intersection of my personal desire to create a more empathetic world and my career aspirations to tell great stories that matter. Broadcasting the impactful work we do with our agency partners at USDS just makes sense for me.

What’s your career story?

I wanted to be a magazine editor after journalism school, which I did for a couple of years right after college. A heady combo of Obama’s inauguration, the ending of the “The Wire” and the debut of “Parks & Recreation” convinced me that local news reporting was my true ambition, so I switched to that and spent three years neck-deep in suburban government minutia.

One bout of serious burnout later, I packed up and moved abroad for a while. Once I came back to the States, I decided to switch careers and started my current journey in the go-go world of content marketing. Most recently, I headed all things marketing, community, and communications at a philanthropy startup in Washington, D.C.

What’s your superpower?

Empathy! As a highly sensitive person, I am often inadvertently putting myself in others’ shoes and feeling the world from their perspectives. This is really powerful for a communicator as I’m always working to garner attention and trust.

What do you love most about USDS?

It’s an honor to be of service and to have the skills and expertise to serve the people of your country. At USDS, the American people are our North Star, which is unique from any other place I’ve worked. Beyond the incredible mission, everyone at USDS is so passionate about helping people and takes their responsibility to do so very seriously.

What television show or movie can you watch repeatedly?

I’ve been watching “The Golden Girls” since I was a baby – literally, it was my grandmother’s favorite sitcom – so that’s my number one favorite show forever and ever. The writing and acting are brilliant and it’s amazingly still relevant three decades later.

How did you survive the quarantine?

Video chats with my family, BFFs, and therapist. And food delivery workers.

What’s your go to comfort food?

Hamburgers! As a Texas native, they taste like my childhood.

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