About U.S. Digital Response
U.S. Digital Response (USDR) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works alongside state and local governments to ensure they have the capacity to meet the public's needs.
Our vision: a government that keeps up with the needs of its people, now and for the future.
Our mission: To achieve this vision, USDR partners with government programs, teams, and leaders to ensure they have the capacity needed to deliver services digitally.
USDR was born in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when governments at all levels suddenly needed to stand up new systems and scale existing ones to respond to a cascading series of crises. The organization formed practically overnight, co-founded by a team of former U.S. Deputy CTOs, technology executives, and civic technology leaders, to match hundreds of capable, fast-moving, vetted tech volunteers with public servants who needed to solve critical problems fast. Having earned their trust and respect in areas like user research best practices and unemployment insurance delivery, public servants across the country have continued to ask for USDR's help on a wide variety of issues facing the country, from tracking federal funds to managing elections.
Today, USDR has matured into a lasting and valuable partner, leveraging a network of pro bono technical experts to address common, systemic challenges facing public servants in the short and long term. USDR's founding ethos of coming together across sectors to scale quickly, serve at "the speed of need," lead with humility and iterative, and our impact-oriented "demos not memos,” permeates the organization to this day.
USDR has partnered with nearly 400 government and nonprofit partners on over 400 projects across 42 states, territories, and tribal nations. We've built a dedicated community of 9,000 plus pro bono specialists driven to serve in a time of need.
Behind the statistics are people able to access unemployment insurance and emergency rental assistance more easily, election officials empowered to run frictionless elections, communities who can access federal grants for the first time, and volunteers who left USDR inspired to shift career trajectories entirely into civic service. USDR's current program focus areas are digital capacity building, elections operations, and federal grant opportunities.
Organizationally, USDR is committed to a growth mindset and operating as a live player, actively learning and evolving our strategy to better achieve our mission. USDR's mandate is large, and we are just getting started. There are an estimated 90,000 governmental organizations in the United States, and almost all of them need to build their digital capacity to keep up with their communities' future needs.
Our organization has grown to over 30 staff members in four years. Every USDR community member shapes our work and our culture. We are looking for team members who will join the early conversations about how our organization can continue to do the most good at the greatest scale.
Why work at U.S. Digital Response?
We work in the public interest.
What began as a response to an urgent call for help in March 2020 has become an established non-profit organization. USDR works alongside government partners to create lasting capacity, impact, and resiliency. We design for sustainability and usability, always with the end-user in mind, and work to help partners build their technical capacity and deliver services on their own.
Public interest projects belong in the public domain, so we abide by a set of Data and Software Guidelines that promote openness and accessibility.
We work with humility and respect.
We meet governments where they need us. Governments and the people they employ operate under constraints that are not always visible to those outside the public sector. To be effective, we must check our egos and judgment without losing critical thinking. All team members, volunteers and staff, agree to our Volunteer Oath, which guides our work.
We foster a collaborative and inclusive culture.
In order to reflect the people we serve and work with, we must create an inclusive culture for folks from all backgrounds and areas of expertise. We also foster collaboration and growth through our many internal programs, including guest speakers, book clubs, and show and tells.
We embody an entrepreneurial mindset.
We are a relatively new organization with a bias toward action, impact, and continuous improvement. Driven by our curiosity and growth mindset, we are all empowered to define and shape the organization that we aspire to become.
We support how you work best.
We aim to be a supportive community where anyone can thrive and find a balance between working hard to make a difference and taking care of themselves. We are committed to a fully remote work environment with flexible schedules, time off, and organizational-wide breaks.
Learn more about some of the work we’ve been doing:
The Good Tech Awards: To U.S. Digital Response, for pandemic-proofing our infrastructure, New York Times
U.S. Digital Response 2022 Year In Review and 2023 Year In Review
Governing Magazine Top 25 Doers, Dreamers, and Drivers
You can also read more about us and our recent press coverage.
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