Why We Serve: Stephen Massoni

In this series, you’ll hear stories from USDSers and learn why they decided to join, why they stay, and how their work is making an impact for all Americans.

United States Digital Service
U.S. Digital Service
3 min readOct 19, 2022


Stephen Massoni (he/him/his): Product Manager with the Refugee Coordination Center for the United States Refugee Admissions Program. Previously at a political tech firm during the 2020 election cycle. Prior to that, a career in EdTech and kids’ media, including a decade long stint at Nickelodeon. Currently, Chestertown, MD after 20 years living in Brooklyn, NY.

A photo of Stephen Massoni, a man with white skin, brown hair and a salt-and-pepper beard wearing a jacket with a collared shirt and a sweater underneath. On the right, white letters on a blue background read “Stephen Massoni, Product Manager.”

What led you to become a Product Manager at USDS?

In 2017, after nearly two decades working in kids’ media and education technology, I found myself at a crossroads. I could either recommit myself to the same work for another two decades or I could find a way to pivot to something I was more passionate about.

Fast forward two years and I was deep in the wilderness. I had left my job, convinced that I would quickly find “the next big thing,” but instead I was freelancing part-time, my career seemingly on hold.

Anxious about work, life, and the state of our democracy, I joined a political tech firm for the 2020 election cycle. While there I built a Vote by Mail and Get Out the Vote products, and discovered how fundamentally important this kind of civic tech work is for our democracy. After the election, I was determined to find a place where I could do more, which is how I ended up at USDS.

What has your experience at USDS been like?

When I first started at USDS, I had no real sense of what I wanted to work on or where I could best serve. I figured I would just “go and see” and say yes to whatever presented itself. I certainly didn’t expect that I’d end up working in the Refugee Program.

Nor did I think that within a month of my arrival, I’d be on a military base — in the middle of the pandemic — in a room filled with seemingly every acronym and agency in government, trying to figure out how to safely and humanely resettle 80,000 Afghani refugees. I also couldn’t have imagined that a few months later, I’d be halfway around the world, launching a pilot aimed at condensing a two-to-three-year refugee resettlement process into just 30 days.

A man with brown, windswept hair and dark sunglasses sits on the back of a camel in the desert wearing a dark blue collared shirt and dark pants. On the right, white letters on a blue background read “Stephen Massoni, Product Manager.”

Throughout it all, I’ve worked with an amazing group of extremely talented and humble people at USDS, the Department of State, and the Department of Homeland Security. Everyone is here for (and focused on) the mission and there’s no place else I’d rather be.

What’s your sales pitch for USDS?

Looking to make an impact? Forget that Startup. Come work here.

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.

Join the U.S. Digital Service | Visit our Site | LinkedIn| Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | GitHub |

The favicon the U.S. Digital Service: a dark blue shield-shape with three white stars at the top and two white vertical stripes. There are golden wings on either side of the shield. Next to the favicon “U.S. Digital Service” is written in dark blue font.



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.