About U.S. Digital Response

U.S. Digital Response (USDR) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that helps governments and organizations respond quickly and efficiently to support the critical needs of the public.

Leveraging an amazing internal team along with a network of pro-bono technical expertise and modern, resilient technology, USDR addresses and uncovers solutions for common, systemic challenges that public servants are facing, leaving them better equipped to deliver services and support to millions of people nationwide.

We operate with humility and deep respect for our partners and believe that modern and resilient technology applied in the public interest can deliver people-centered services at the speed of need.

Since March 2020, USDR’s projects have impacted 42M+ people in 37 U.S. states and territories. We've built deep partnerships with over 250 government and nonprofit partners, strong expertise across more than 330 projects, and repeatable processes to solve some of the most pressing challenges in order to help government meet the critical needs of people today, while building digital resilience to stand up to the crises of tomorrow.

Learn more about our last year in our annual impact report, Demos not Memos in 2021: A Look Back.

About the Digital Delivery Program

Government services are not keeping up with the public’s needs, particularly as services have moved from in-person to digital delivery, where the digital presentation of the service is as critical as the service itself. Poorly designed, slow, out of date, and inequitable government services mean that residents—often the most vulnerable—are not getting the critical services they need to thrive.

Government lacks the capacity needed to deliver services digitally. While this shows up most obviously in crisis moments, these gaps exist throughout the ecosystem of government delivery. USDR’s Digital Delivery program takes a two-pronged approach to address this capacity gap:

  • Be the capacity: In instances where services can be immediately unblocked by a surge of tech talent, USDR volunteers build direct solutions with governments.
  • Build the capacity: Digital Delivery helps governments build digital capacity for the long term by helping teams become fluent in digital best practices, policies, and tools and helping governments leverage each other’s good work.

Understanding the needs of residents is critical to delivering services, thus the Digital Delivery team is focusing on building the capacity of government to conduct user research. User research engagements will help government teams build a deep understanding of the people who use services so they can make sure they do the right thing.

About the Role

USDR is seeking a User Research Operations Lead to provide operational support to staff, volunteers and government partners on our user research-oriented technical assistance engagements with governments. This will include planning for in-house user research recruitment services, knowledge management solutions, and a wide range of other support, guidance and policies. You will help shape the Research Operations service, and the strategy and roadmap for how we deliver it.

Research Operations is a relatively new profession, so you may not currently be working in an equivalent role. You might be a user researcher who is passionate about the operational side of your profession, or you may be somebody working in a service delivery, product or operational role, who is passionate about supporting teams to deliver user-centered services. You might not be in a digital role, but you’ll have experience or awareness of agile digital delivery. Most importantly you’ll be a natural at managing operations, who is excited about building, shaping and growing a practice and service, and making it a success.

This is a full-time position with benefits for a one-year term with the opportunity to renew based on organizational need.

As a User Research Operations Lead you’ll:

  • Lead on supporting user research engagements with government, including in user recruitment and compensation strategies, tools and templates, knowledge management, policies and governance.
  • Play a key role in maturing the processes, tools, and culture to enable user research to have a greater impact on the public sector, including building a roadmap for Research Operations, what success looks like and how it will be measured.
  • Support the Digital Delivery team to deliver our wider roadmap, including in areas like accessibility and inclusive research, community, ethics, and professional development.
  • Coach volunteers and USDR colleagues, ensuring they have clear goals, are motivated, and are collaborating and working well.
  • Work with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders to deliver successful user research engagements with our government partners
  • Manage a repository of research insights, share learnings and facilitate access to research for teams across USDR and across governments
  • Educate internal and external stakeholders about processes and the value of user experience research
  • Responsible for the ethical use of data and insights for the benefit of the users and governments serving them
  • Represent USDR and the values of our Volunteer Oath in your work

Qualified Candidates Will Have:

  • A good working knowledge of user research in a large agile organization, and the operational services required to make it successful (e.g. user recruitment, tools and templates, compensation, knowledge management, policies and governance etc)
  • Keen problem-solving skills, excellent project management, organizational and negotiation skills to deliver tools and support of user-centered practices in or with government with strict attention to detail
  • A knack for hearing amorphous needs, rapidly empathizing, and translating those needs into concrete next steps
  • The ability to build and maintain good working relationships and strong communication skills across a broad set of cross-functional stakeholders, including complex external partners (such as regulatory bodies and government entities).
  • Strong interest in supporting equitable, effective access to public services using modern technology, design, and research practices. Experience in accessibility and inclusive service design a plus
  • Anti-oppression knowledge and desire to work toward creating an organizational culture and project offerings that reflect that knowledge.
  • Or any combination of education, experience, and measurable performance that demonstrates the capability to perform the duties of the position

Application Process:

  • Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. USDR will conduct an application and resume review, followed by a series of interviews with various members of USDR.

What you’ll get:

  • A competitive salary, consistent with similar roles in other tech non-profits in the Bay Area where USDR is headquartered. The annual salary range for this role is $150,000 - $170,000 depending on experience.
  • Full health, dental and vision benefits (USDR pays 100% of the cost for our employees and 80% of the cost for their dependents).
  • 401K with a matching contribution of up to 3 percent of your pay with $1 for each dollar you contribute and for more than 3 percent and up to 5 percent of your pay with $0.50 for each dollar you contribute.
  • An equipment reimbursement for the purchase of a computer and peripheral devices of up to $2,000 along with a Work from Home allowance of $100 each month to support employees as they navigate working from home.
  • A discretionary budget of $500 per year per employee for learning and development along with an organization-wide L&D budget to support individuals and teams with work-related learning and development expenses
  • A supportive community where everyone 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 (for US-based employees) along with flexible schedules and time off policies that work with your life.

Equal Employment Opportunity

U.S. Digital Response is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer fully dedicated to achieving a diverse staff. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity and expression, and sexual orientation), disability status, protected veteran status, political party affiliation, or any other characteristic protected by law.

We encourage and welcome all interested potential applicants, regardless of background or prior experience volunteering with U.S. Digital Response, to apply.