On International Women’s Day, We Ask: ‘Why USDS?’
From its inception in 2014, women have been integral in the foundation and continued success of the U.S. Digital Service.
This International Women’s Day (March 8, 2022), we reached out to some of the women-identified people who have brought their talents, skills, and extensive expertise to the organization over the years to further the mission of USDS in supporting the federal government and the American people.
We asked 14 women, some on our current staff and some alumnae, the same question: Why USDS?
“The American people are the north star and at the center of what we do at USDS. I am continuously pushing to overcome complexities and barriers to deliver modern, relevant, simple, seamless, and intuitive digital services that work.”
– Glorimar Ripoll Balet, Product Manager at USDS, 2019-Present
“I have always been an advocate for diversity and inclusiveness in tech. I realized that I can do more to support the needs of women, particularly Black and Brown women, in the public and the tech community by joining USDS.”
— Glennette Clark, UX Researcher at USDS, 2019-Present
“I am so excited to lead this organization which tackles problems that are both important and hard. It’s a place I care so much about; it represents what I think is best about people stepping up when their country needs their skills.”
— Mina Hsiang, USDS Administrator, 2021-Present; Founder & Executive Director, Digital Service at the Department of Health and Human Services at USDS, 2016–2017
“At USDS, you have the power to ask questions, bureaucracy-bust, and help agencies create momentum so they can best deliver for their customers — the American public.”
— Clare Martorana, Federal Chief Information Officer; Digital Services Expert at USDS 2016–2021
“We have an opportunity to work on projects and build products that impact the lives of every single human being living in the United States (and our territories). The work is hard and requires both resiliency and creative problem solving, but being able to see the tangible impact our work has on people across this nation is a feeling like no other and is worth every moment we spend making it happen.”
— Sparkle Joy Meadows, Director of Product, 2021-Present; Senior Product Manager at USDS, 2019–2021
“I joined USDS because the people have a heart for making government work better for the people. SOLD!”
— Beverly Nelson, Product Manager at USDS, 2020-Present
“I joined USDS because I want to do everything I can to make a sizeable ripple in the vastness of the ocean of challenges we face as a country. I wanted to be part of the powerful movement of using technology to deliver better services to the people within these borders, no matter their background.”
— Anissa Pérez, Talent Management Manager at USDS, 2016-Present
“USDS is a master class on technology and service. The ability to think through who we serve and how we do it, along with the complexity of the engineering problems, are unlike anything in the private sector.”
— Kathy Pham, Deputy Chief Technology Officer, Federal Trade Commission; Founding Member, Product and Engineering at USDS, 2014–2018
“Since my first day managing a public relations campaign to leading communications for executives; this work has been about informing audiences and meeting them where they are. I appreciate the opportunity to do this every day. Working at USDS, in this capacity, is a once-in-a-lifetime chance I could not miss taking.”
— Imani Pope-Johns, Digital Services Expert at USDS, 2022-Present
“One thing that was lovely about my time at USDS was working with so many women. I was able to take for granted that I would just work with women on every project and team. That was never the case in the tech industry. And although I was the first and only Latina in engineering, I deeply valued the relationships I was able to form with amazing Latinas all throughout the organization.”
— Amy Quispe, Digital Services Expert at USDS, 2020–2022
“I joined USDS not because of a desire to work in government or civic tech, but because I felt compelled to join, drawn to the scrappy group of technologists navigating big changes in a complex organization. I never expected to find myself navigating the halls of the Pentagon, strolling through the EEOB, badging in to the VA, or going anywhere the work needed me to. USDS has taught me that the impossible is possible, so long as you remain optimistic and (most importantly) be yourself.”
— Melissa Schaff, UX Designer and Researcher at USDS 2019-Present
“In one word, sisterhood, is why I joined USDS and why I am part of the civic tech community. USDS provides a channel for me to use my technical expertise and empathy during these unprecedented and challenging times to make lasting, positive and impactful change. If you were waiting for a sign to join and rise up to help, this is it.”
— Erica Stephens, Engineering at USDS, 2021-Present
“By working for USDS, I finally had a seat at the table to promote concepts like plain language, accessible information, and user-friendly digital services, and to make life easier for everyday Americans trying to interact with their government.”
— Misu Tasnim, Director, Digital Service at Health & Human Services at USDS, 2018-Present
“This work is so challenging, and I get to work on so many different kinds of projects. The people I work with are smart, creative, and, above all, truly excellent humans. I had never experienced the feeling of being on a mission alongside dedicated teammates.”
— Martha Wilkes, Designer and Accessibility Strategist at USDS, 2019-Present
We’re hiring mission-driven engineers, product managers, designers, bureaucracy hackers, procurement specialists, and operations gurus who want to make an impact on the lives of their fellow Americans. Apply here.