Chief Executive Officer

U.S. Digital Response

Sector:

Government / Public Policy

Function:

General Management / Strategic Planning

Location:

Flexible

About the Organization

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.

Their vision: a government that keeps up - one that delivers for people on their most critical needs, now and into the future.

Their mission: To achieve its 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 230 government and nonprofit partners on 300+ projects, impacting more than 42 million people across 38 states, territories, and tribal nations. They've built a dedicated community of over 7,400 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 its strategy in order to better achieve its mission. USDR's mandate is large, and the team believes they 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.

Read more about USDR's work:

To learn more, please visit U.S. Digital Response.

About the Position

USDR seeks a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to lead the organization and grow its impact. Reporting to the Board of Directors, this person will manage a growing team of 30 people and an $8M operating budget.

The CEO will be charged with the following primary responsibilities:

Strategic leadership

  • Set USDR's strategy to achieve its vision of a "government that keeps up with the pace of communities' critical needs"
  • Rally and inspire the organization, its funders, and its partners around the strategy
  • Drive organizational alignment and enable operationalization, in part by translating strategy into impact goals; be accountable for delivering impact

Evangelism

  • Serve as the external face of the organization, enhancing USDR's visibility, recognition, and credibility
  • Act as a thought leader and advocate for accelerating the government's ability to adopt the best that technology has to offer
  • Source, connect with, and inspire potential funders, employees, and volunteers, including those who are not as aware of the friction that government agencies may encounter when serving the public - and the public's friction encountered when receiving government services
  • Represent USDR in press interviews, written communications, and high-profile internal and external events
  • Ensure the organization's long term ability to activate and engage a large pool of volunteers

Financial performance and viability

  • Fundraise and develop strategies to sustain and grow USDR's impact
  • Cultivate and grow USDR's donor base
  • Lead the organization through a strategic exploration of other recurring revenue sources to ensure organizational sustainability and growth, considering the potential balance between foundational support, individual support, strategic corporate partnerships, and earned income
  • Manage resource spending and allocation, operating within the approved budget, ensuring maximum resource utilization, and maintaining a positive financial position

Board governance

  • Collaborate with the current Board to build out and mature the Board and, as needed, to recruit additional organizational advisors
  • Act as primary liaison to the Board of Directors, engaging Board members in the current and future needs of the organization
  • Communicate effectively with the Board and provide, in a timely and accurate manner, all information necessary for the Board to function properly and to make informed decisions

Organization operations

  • Hire, retain, and mentor a high-performing, diverse team with a deep commitment to strong staff engagement, high-impact work, the cultural tenets of our Volunteer Oath, equity, and inclusivity

Candidate Requirements:

Professional Qualifications

  • Executive leadership – A track record of scaling organizations with an intentional focus on organizational health and empowering the mission, with a minimum of three years of significant leadership experience
  • Ambition for impact – A leader who holds a bold and expansive vision of government's future potential to use the best of technology in the service of better outcomes, and who can lead the organization to effect that change at scale; brings humility and curiosity to their work, and an excitement to learn from and with the team, the organization's partners, and others about what creates lasting change
  • Strategic thinking – Demonstrated success developing a compelling strategic vision for improving outcomes and leveraging technology to achieve that vision
  • Strategic Leadership – Ability to communicate our strategy internally and externally to partners, funders, and the public in high-stakes environments, with the ability to visibly demonstrate leadership and represent USDR in the government, tech, and funder communities
  • Demonstrated ability to achieve through influence – Ability to balance listening and learning with leading - with both internal and external audiences; ability to activate stakeholders, partners, and individuals both inside and outside of USDR towards mission goals
  • Relevant cross-sector experience – USDR sits at the intersection of tech and government and functions as a nonprofit; experience with two of the three (technology, government, and nonprofit management) and demonstrated ability to learn the areas in which the candidate has less experience; ability to context-switch and sometimes culture-switch between tech and nonprofit to effectively connect with, and credibly represent, our diverse communities; experience with hybrid for-profit and nonprofit models is a plus
  • Strong "TQ" (Technology Quotient) – (Like IQ or EQ but refers to savviness about the digital world) – An understanding of technology/design principles, familiarity with the technology/design world, and the capacity to command the respect of a talented team, including technologists and designers across the organization; direct experience with building and designing software is not required
  • Values-Driven – Alignment with organizational values and operating principles; demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and the ability to serve as an exemplar for an organization's values and foster an inclusive, high-trust, and respectful workplace
  • Management Track Record – Proven experience building and managing highly-skilled, highly-diverse teams
    • Track record of leading a performance-based culture that motivates employees to excellence and promotes accountability; capable of recruiting, mentoring, and training experienced leaders new to civic technology
    • Ability to evolve the organization's culture, with demonstrated success in creating and supporting an inclusive workplace
    • Collaborative approach to creating processes and standards that support USDR's mission and programs

Personal Characteristics

  • Deeply mission-driven, with a strong belief in government and technology as potential forces for good and levers for change
  • Practical, and values GSD (Getting Stuff Done)
  • Inspirational
  • Supportive, committed to mentoring others
  • Committed to a growth mindset and continuous improvement and learning
  • Excellent at building trust
  • Low ego
  • Community-oriented
  • Open and direct
  • Unquestionable integrity

Compensation and benefits:

Location

  • Remote; willingness to travel for approximately 2-3 full-staff meetings a year and to key meetings with funders/key stakeholders (approximately 5-8 days a quarter).

Compensation and Benefits

  • The expected base salary range for this position is $200,000 - 240,000, depending on experience; in addition to salary, USDR offers: 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 expense
  • 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.

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.

Like USDR, On-Ramps is deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We believe social change happens when people with a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and identities come together with a common purpose.