About U.S. Digital Response
U.S. Digital Response (USDR) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that helps governments respond quickly and efficiently to support the critical needs of the public.
Our vision: a government that keeps up - one that delivers for people on their most critical needs, now and into the future.
Our mission: To achieve this vision, USDR accelerates the government's collective ability to adopt the best that technology has to offer.
U.S. Digital Response was born in the early days of the 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 vaccine access 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 fast; serve at "the speed of need;" and lead with humility and iterative, impact-oriented "demos not memos;" pervades the organization to this day.
USDR has partnered with more than 290 government and nonprofit partners on 350+ projects, impacting more than 42 million people across 38 states, territories, and tribal nations. We've built a dedicated community of over 7,800 pro bono specialists driven to serve in a time of need. Behind the statistics are people newly able to access food, vaccines, broadband, unemployment insurance, and emergency rental assistance (to name a few), and volunteers who left USDR inspired to shift career trajectories entirely into civic service. USDR's current program focus areas are rapid response, digital capacity building, elections operations, and economic stability.
Organizationally, USDR is committed to a growth mindset and to operating as a live player, actively learning and evolving our strategy in order to better achieve our mission. USDR's mandate is large, and we believe 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 doubled in the last year in response to the need, and we are on track for similar growth in 2023. 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.
In order to best serve our partners and allow them to quickly deliver critical services to the public, USDR aims to deliver value in days, not months, by quickly demonstrating what’s possible. 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.
Governments and the people they employ operate under constraints that are not always visible to those outside of the public sector. Everyone involved in crisis response is under enormous strain—in order to be effective, we must check our egos and our judgment, without losing our critical thinking. All members of our team, volunteer 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, it is imperative that we create a culture that is inclusive 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. This means that we are committed to a fully remote work environment along with flexible schedules and time off along with 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 2020 Highlights and 2022 Year In Review
You can also read more about us and our recent press coverage.
U.S. Digital Response is welcoming a new CEO! Read about Hillary Hartley here.