Meet the Team 🍁🎃🇺🇸 Fall 2020

We’ve hired our third cohort this year. People continue joining USDS from tech communities across the country to do the greatest good, for the greatest number of people, in the greatest need.

United States Digital Service
U.S. Digital Service
7 min readOct 20, 2020

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When you join USDS, you become part of a community that extends to life after your tour of duty. Since we were founded by the President in 2014, over 500 people have served, modernizing government, shifting culture, and showing what’s possible. Nearly 80% of our staff have joined during this administration to try and make a difference in people’s lives.

Technologists from across the country, representing diverse communities, skillsets, and backgrounds are joining USDS because of our mission. This fall, folks are joining to respond to COVID-19, support Medicare patients, and help America’s Veterans.

Meet the newest members of the U.S. Digital Service family — recruited from tech communities across the country. Prior to joining they were Facebookers, consultants, Presidential Innovation Fellows, and video game industry professionals.

Emmanuel Apau (he/him), Engineer, USDS @ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Previously CTO at Mechanicode.io. From Washington, D.C.

As a first-generation Gambian-Ghanaian American, I wanted to do my part in giving back to a country that has given me so much. Since joining I have had the opportunity to jump right into the COVID response working with teams at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and looking forward to where my tour of duty will take me.

Prior to joining USDS, I was the CTO of the consulting firm Mechanicode.io. I came to that role as an AWS-certified DevOps specialist with ten years of experience with DevOps and site reliability best practices. I have a passion for automation and improving the feedback loop in the developer experience.

Where would you most like to live?

Somewhere where the wind does not hurt my face in the winter time. I would love to work remotely from my country of origin or somewhere coastal like Colombia, where I can improve my terrible Spanish.

What is your motto?

There’s always money in the banana stand 🍌

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I think so far it is co-founding the non-profit Black Code Collective. Being able to stay engaged with a community of technologists especially during these times has helped stave off the monotony of COVID blues.

Elizabeth Schweinsberg (she/her), Engineer, USDS @ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Previously at Facebook. From Mountain View, CA.

I’ve spent the bulk of my career working in threat detection and response — the part of Computer Security that focuses on finding the badness on corporate networks. It’s really interesting, but very fast-paced and there is a lot to know all the time. With USDS I’ll be working on engineering projects within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. I’ll also be keeping a look out for security projects that USDS could get involved with!

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

A well-loved house cat. With working from home I’ve been able to truly understand what a life of luxury my cats lead and am jealous.

What is your most treasured possession?

With the recent wildfires in the area I’ve been thinking about this from the lens of what do we need to take with us in case we evacuate. Most everything can be replaced, even the souvenirs from my travels (they wouldn’t be quite the same). In the end I decided that the most important thing to take was my childhood teddy bear. Bella doesn’t get out much, but I think I’d want her if we evacuated. We’ve been through a lot, plus she can double as a pillow.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

My inability to get anywhere on time, and thank the people in my life who put up with it. I chronically leave myself exactly enough time to do something, and there is no buffer for delays. And I’m trying to fit in one last task. Heck, I cannot even make back to back Zoom calls on time even when all I have to do is click a new link.

Tracey Mulrooney (she/ her), Product Manager, USDS @ Department of Veteran Affairs. Previously SiriusXM, Disney, and Electronic Arts. From Florida and NYC.

My group focuses on benefits for Veterans which is very broad but allows me the opportunity to discover and pitch work that will have a major impact on a Veteran’s life.

If you’ve been wondering where in the world Carmen Sandiego has been, I’d also be a good person to ask. In addition to being a Product Manager for Tiger Woods Online, Warhammer Wrath of Heroes, and Ultima Forever at Electronic Arts, a Product Manager for a Star Wars Worldwide Editor’s Choice mobile app at Disney, and a Product Manager focusing on Recommendations at SiriusXM and Pandora, she was the Product and Brand manager for Curious George, The Oregon Trail, and Carmen Sandiego at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt!

What is your motto?

Focus on a solution, not the problem. In both my personal and professional life, this is my motto because it does not matter who did it or why, all that matters is that you learn from it and come up with a path forward.

Which talent would you most like to have?

Sing! Or at least carry a tune. I love Broadway and all music but have zero musical talent. I’d like an inkling of talent so I could go to karaoke or sing along in the car and not scare people.

When and where are you happiest?

I am happiest when hanging with friends over good conversation, good food and good drinks. Whether it’s a potluck at someone’s house, a night out on the town or a vineyard in Italy, the more quality time I can spend catching up and laughing with loved ones, the happier I am.

Where would you most like to live?

I would love to live in Europe in order to bounce around to different countries on the weekend and be immersed in a new culture in order to learn a language. To narrow it down, I’d probably pick Italy because I am a Neapolitan pizza connoisseur.

Mike Pritchard (he/ him), Engineer, USDS HQ. Previously Presidential Innovation Fellow. From Reston, VA and Wells, UK.

Before joining USDS I spent a year at the White House Presidential Innovation Fellowship (PIF), which was my first time working for the federal government. Honestly, before PIF I would never have considered it, but it really opened my eyes and gave me a crash course in how the government actually works! It was a profound and amazing experience that introduced me to the the #civictech movement. After my 1 year tour was up, I decided to jump into a non-profit startup as CTO. Then COVID-19 hit, and being on the outside and not being able to pitch-in sucked, so I immediately volunteered part-time for U.S. Digital Response just as it was getting started. As the crisis deepened, I really felt I needed to be back full-time so I applied to join USDS!

The Federal and State governments are seeing unprecedented levels of people applying for social services, such as food stamps and cash assistance. The technology powering some of these systems are positively ancient, and as part of a wider effort my team is helping the NJ State Government modernize their systems to help cope. Personally, I’m leading the front-end development. Rebuilding their site in VueJS and applying U.S. federal web standards (USWDS). You can check out the Vue components I’m creating to support this effort here, help wanted!

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Hands down, my wife. We have been each other’s best friend from the moment we met. I nearly lost her to Covid and she has been suffering from chronic “long hauler” symptoms, but very slowly getting better. Definitely her experience is a big part of my desire to be part of the Covid-19 fight.

What is your most treasured possession?

Well, I’m a geek and a nerd — so whatever the latest gizmo in my life is! But my 3D printer is up there. It has churned out a continuous stream of toys that my kids have invented.

Where would you most like to live?

Mountains, next to a ski resort.

What is your motto?

The Apollo 1 tribute “Ad Astra Per Aspera” always struck me — loosely translated as “A Rough Road Leads to the Stars”, a constant reminder that the road can be tough and full of setbacks. But the journey is worth it, and the setbacks just make you stronger and wiser.

The best of technology.
The best of government.
And we want you.

We’re looking for the most tenacious designers, software engineers, product managers, and more, who are committed to untangling, rewiring and redesigning critical government services. You’ll join a team of the most talented technologists from across the private sector and government.
If you have questions regarding employment with the U.S. Digital Service, please contact us at usds@omb.eop.gov or visit our Hiring FAQ.

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United States Digital Service
U.S. Digital Service

The U.S. Digital Service is a group of mission-driven professionals who are passionate about delivering better government services to the public.