Meet the Team: Brandon • Lori • Nick

Get to know some of the amazing faces that work at the Defense Digital Service.

Brandon Bouier, Software Engineer

Hanging out in Belize.

I came to DDS by way of Seattle, driving all the way across the country to work with this awesome group of extremely smart & motivated people. I’ve long worked in government at the local level as The Lead GIS Analyst at the Seattle Police Department, so the opportunity to work on projects that impact the country as a whole was a no-brainer for me. Working at DDS has allowed me to see what happens when passion, execution, & impact converge.

Who is your current role model? Matt Cutts.

Best piece of advice you’ve received? “Great things never came from comfort zones.” — Barry Sanders

It’s a zombie apocalypse: what 3 things do you take?

  • a sword (to remove heads)
  • a shovel (to dispose of heads once removed)
  • a buddy with more/better equipment who’s got my back

Lori Thomas, Software Engineer

Rock climbing with friends in The Gunks.

I’m a software engineer with a background in big data, system archeology and testing. Before joining the US Digital Service, I worked on Flights, Maps and Image Search at Google. My first project at USDS was, helping keep the site up through 2016 Open Enrollment. I’ve done several discovery sprints, and am now at the Defense Digital Service, embedded with the contractors building the next generation of GPS.

It’s been an incredible opportunity to work with brilliant people on things that really matter. I sometimes say that the news my friends post about on Facebook are the projects my coworkers are working on.

Who is your fictional hero? Let’s go with Bujold’s Miles Vorkosigan. He doesn’t let impossible stop him, and makes the people around him excel.

What is your most treasured possession? My cats. Curling up with them and a book is the perfect end to a day.

When are you the happiest? Thanksgiving with friends. It’s a very midwestern display of love in the form of far too much food.

Nicholas Small, Software Engineer

Staring into the desert heat in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Before USDS, I led the front end engineering team at Shopify, an e-commerce software company. On the side, I did a lot of extracurricular projects with Open Data and various government organizations, and came to believe that governments have a responsibility to improve the lives of their citizens through technology. Our world is changing and advancing so quickly, there’s no reason that governments and citizen-facing services shouldn’t keep up. So when I heard about US Digital Service for the first time, I said “well, I guess I gotta go do that.” So I blindly moved to Washington DC and joined USDS, not having any idea what I would be working on, but I can confidently say that I am doing the most impactful and important work of my life here.

What is your greatest weakness? Pizza.

It’s Saturday night in DC — where can we find you? Room 11 — the best cocktail bar in DC.

Who is your favorite historical figure? Astronaut Albert II, first monkey in space