The mission of the United States Digital Service is straightforward but not easy: apply best practices in technology and design to improve the usability and reliability of the government’s most important digital services. That’s exactly what administrator Mikey Dickerson and his team have been doing for the past two years, since establishing this startup at the White House.
The US Digital Service works alongside teammates at several federal agencies to improve the government’s ability to provide better citizen-centered services. From modernizing our country’s immigration system to helping students and families make more informed decisions about college selection to developing a unified digital experience for our veterans, this work has reimagined how government services should be provided to the public. Mikey discusses how the team has grown and scaled, shares stories about successes and failures, and showcases a few of the products the US Digital Service has delivered.
In 2013, Mikey Dickerson joined what became known as the “ad hoc” team, tasked with rescuing Healthcare.gov after its failed launch on October 1. In August 2014, President Obama established the United States Digital Service to see if the strategy that succeeded at pulling Healthcare.gov out of the fire could be applied to other government problems and appointed Mikey to serve as the administrator. Now two years old and employing about 150 people spanning a network of federal agencies, the US Digital Service has taken on immigration, education, veterans benefits, and health data interoperability and helped agencies build effective government services and improve IT procurements by focusing on industry best practices and agile methodology, ultimately driving change in the largest institution in history. Prior to joining the US Digital Service, Mikey worked as a site reliability manager at Google.
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