Navigating Digital Service

Navigating all the different government agencies and organizations which work in Civic Tech, design in government, or adjacent areas was overwhelming to me as I was looking at new opportunities. Below is an incomplete overview of the different organizations and players I found in my conversations, with some color and reflections I gleaned. If there are any errors or omissions, we regret those and please help us by updated these by emailing randy@expedition.works

Please note: none of the organizations have endorsed us or this website – this is a pathfinding document of what I’ve found on my search. Use of names, logos, and photos are for informational purposes only and also doesn’t confer endorsement by any of the organizations. I speak for myself only.

Job seekers: I don't have an "in" with any of these organizations, I needed to map this out myself, and I wanted to share this with you all.

THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS

U.S._Digital_Service_Logo.svg

United States Digital Service

Part of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB – wiki) which is part of the Executive Office of the President (EOP – wiki). 

Where to find them
What they say about themselves

Using design and technology to deliver better services to the American people.

OVERVIEW

As part of OMB/EOP USDS is tasked with Presidential-directed opportunities across all the executive agencies, and often works in concert outside the EOP. USDS is a budget line in the OMB budget, so task orders and projects can theoretically start faster than other cousin orgs (such as 18F which uses a cost-recovery model). USDS is comprised of communities of practice, and operates in a team fashion, often with teams detailed to specific agencies.

HOW TO JOIN

USDS has a rolling application process, which includes multiple interviews which currently are phone-based interviews. USDS operates on a tour-of-service model with a maximum term of four years. While most people serve for one or two years, USDS will consider some shorter tours as well. Time commitments are not binding.

Presidential_Innovation_Fellows_logo

White House Presidential Innovation Fellows (PIF)

Where to find them
What they say about themselves
Uniting innovators and federal leaders to build a modern government for the people. Proudly part of TTS and GSA.
DISCUSSION

My understanding is that PIF are often independent contributors who are dutied to a range of agencies as Agency and Executive needs arise. 

HOW TO JOIN

The PIF application opens in spring and appointments are made in the summer, and cohort capacity is limited. Duty length is generally one-to-two years. PIFs are often detailed to specific agencies.

18F-Logo-L

18F

Part of the General Services Agency (GSA).

Where to find them
What they say about themselves

18F is a technology and design consultancy for the U.S. Government, inside the government.

DISCUSSION

18F as part of the GSA has a cost-recovery model to fund the good work. This then impacts the type and nature of the work, along with 18F being part of the GSA creates opportunities to work on projects with independent commissions (eg the Fed or FCC) which needs to be independent of the EOP/USDS.

lab at opm

Lab at OPM

Where to find them
What they say about themselves

Transforming government by design. 

DISCUSSION

My understanding of OPM Lab is that they do a lot of capability building and teaching the design process, but this could be changing.

DefenseDigitalService

Defense Digital Service

Part of the Department of Defense (wiki).

Where to find them
What they say about themselves

We are software developers, engineers, data scientists, designers, and product managers from both the private sector, government, and the military. We're headquartered in the Pentagon, and we have outposts in Augusta, GA and Mountain View, CA.

DISCUSSION

TBD

USDC

U.S. Digital Corps

Empowering early-career technologists to build a more effective, equitable government.

Where to find them
What they say about themselves

The U.S. Digital Corps is a new two-year government fellowship program that will recruit early-career technologists to launch impactful careers in public service and create a more effective, equitable government.

DISCUSSION

A relatively new entrant in the Federal sphere, it’s a two-year government fellowship program deigning to create a larger funnel of technologists right out of college. Run out of the GSA and a collaboration between the General Services Administration (GSA), the White House Office of Management and Budget, the Office of Personnel Management, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. It is a cross‑government fellowship opportunity operated by the GSA’s Technology Transformation Services (TTS).

TechCongress

TechCongress

Home of the Congressional Innovation Fellowship

Where to find them
What they say about themselves

Building 21st Century Government with Technology Talent. Technology touches virtually all areas of life and every issue before Congress. TechCongress gives talented technologists the opportunity to gain first-­hand experience in federal policymaking and shape the future of tech policy through our fellowships with Members of Congress and Congressional Committees. 

DISCUSSION

Supports individual Members of Congress through their annual innovation fellowship.

CDS-SNC

Candian Digital Service – Service numérique canadien

TBD

Where to find them
What they say about themselves

The Canadian Digital Service teams up with federal departments and agencies to put people’s needs at the centre of government services.

OVERVIEW

TBD

HOW TO JOIN

Canadian Digital Service has an application page to express interest, with current job postings.

Colorado Digital Service

Colorado Digital Services

Where to find them
What they say about themselves

Engineers, Designers and Product Managers serving a "digital tour of service" to improve the lives of Coloradans.

OVERVIEW

After a two-year tour with USDS, Kelly Taylor returned to his home state and founded the Colorado Digital Service with Governor Jared Polis as part of the Office of Information Technology (OIT). Structured after USDS, CDS project team with civil servants in a tour-of-duty format, lasting 6 to 24 months.  and across state agencies to develop and improve user-centered solutions to Colorado's most pressing technical challenges.

HOW TO JOIN

CDS posts jobs online when avaialble, check their Twitter and subscribe to their LinkedIn account.

FLDS

Florida Digital Service

FL[DS] is part of the Florida Department of Management Services (wiki), the business arm of Florida government, with Agency Secretary who is appointed by the Governor.

Where to find them
What they say about themselves

The State of Florida created the Florida Digital Service to deliver better government services and transparency to Floridians through design and technology. FL [DS] was established in 2020 and is committed to transforming government.

OVERVIEW

Florida Governor DeSantis with the Florida Legislature created the Florida Digital Service in 2020. So this agency is brand new, and as of early 2021 has been conducting a search for new director, the search should be wrapping up soon. LinkedIn has the current headcount at 16, with a majority of experts pulled from different executive-branch agencies.

HOW TO JOIN

FL[DS] has an application page to express interest.

Digital Services Georgia

Digital Services Georgia

Digital Services Georgia is a division of the Georgia Technology Authority, which manages IT infrastructure for Georgia government agencies.

Where to find them
What they say about themselves

We partner with Georgia state agencies and elected officials to deliver information and services to the public. Our web platform, training, consulting, and governance put constituents' needs first to provide the best possible experience.

OVERVIEW

Focusing on serving Georgia state agencies with industry-standard best practices. DSGA supports the design, development, training, and support for web content and mobile apps.

HOW TO JOIN

Digital Services Georgia has a careers page, which they update when a posting is available. 

nj-state-logo

NJ Office of Innovation

The New Jersey State Office of Innovation was created by Governor Phil Murphy in August, 2018 with the appointment of Dr. Beth Simone Noveck as the State's first-ever Chief Innovation Officer.

Where to find them
What they say about themselves

The Office of Innovation works collaboratively with government, academic, non-profit, and private sector institutions to drive innovation in the Garden State's economy and improve the design and delivery of policies and services to the state's residents, businesses, and institutions.

OVERVIEW

The Office of Innovation, the director being the State's CIO, works in partnership with the Governor’s Office and State agencies to create innovative policies and technologies. Check out the Projects + Initiatives page, it's unsurprigin that many current projects are COVID-related.

HOW TO JOIN

NJ Office of Innovation has a careers page, which they update when a posting is available. 

VT-logo

Vermont Agency of Digital Services

The Vermont Agency of Digital Services is the successor organization to the former Department of Information and Innovation (DII) by executive order.

Where to find them
What they say about themselves

We are a team of information technology professionals providing services and resources to our partners in state government, ultimately for the benefit of the residents, businesses and visitors of the State of Vermont.

OVERVIEW

A result of consolidating IT shops in 2017, the Agency of Digital Service is organized into six divisions with eight IT Directors embedded with partners in state government (org chart). 

HOW TO JOIN

Vermont Agency of Digital Service uses the statewide Human Resources careers page to advertise job postings.

NYCSDS

New York City Service Design Studio

The Service Design Studio at the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity helps build design capacity within city government.

Where to find them
What they say about themselves

NYC Opportunity launched the Service Design Studio to help spread valuable methodologies that are often underused inside government.

OVERVIEW

It's helpful to have an org chart to understand where SDS falls within the city –  check it out, we'll be here. Officially called the NYC Service Design Studio at the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity, which reports to the Office of Operations, then First Deputy Mayor, then to the Mayor. SDS is separate from New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) which handles the City’s use of existing and emerging technologies in government operations, and its delivery of services to the public. Editorializing (a bit) I understand why this decision was made, and both orgs do work together, but it shows the power of the org chart. 

HOW TO JOIN

SDS has a cool GitHub page with all current job postings.

Logo_of_Oakland

Oakland Digital Services

A part-time distributed team.

Where to find them
What they say about themselves

We're a small, mostly part-time team of designers, content strategists, and developers. We work with City staff to improve digital services for the public.

OVERVIEW

A small but mighty, mostly part-time team drawing lessons from Code for America and Gov.uk. I’m afraid I don’t have much intel here.

HOW TO JOIN

Use the centralized City of Oakland job board.

SFDS

San Francisco Digital Service

San Francisco Digital Services is part of the San Francisco City Administrator's office (wiki), led by City Administrator Carmen Chu.

Where to find them
What they say about themselves

San Francisco Digital Services works with other City departments to improve public services. We use technology to make it easier for people to get things done.

OVERVIEW

TBD

HOW TO JOIN

SFDS has an application page to express interest, with current job postings.

Hi. Expedition Works is a design consultancy (and a small-business!), where we design new services and businesses, new environments, new ways to engage with residents, and we conduct independent research.

We help you on your journey with purpose.

Explore our weekly logos.

Email us and visit our Instagram.

Expedition Works, LLC; New York.

EXPLORE OUR WORK.
EXPLORE OUR WORK.