Community Rock Star Round Up

Jul 30, 2015

Around this month’s Communities Theme, the DigitalGov team thought we’d round up your community rock stars. These are people in your communities who’ve gone above and beyond, who’ve contributed content, organized events, participated in developing toolkits and more. Let’s kick it off with the DigitalGov Summit Sounding Board.

DigitalGov Summit Sounding Board

For the 2015 DigitalGov Summit we pulled together innovators from across the federal government to guide the programming, promote the CrowdHall (and Summit overall) and help identify speakers. The summit was a huge success, with more than 1,000 registrants, thanks to this group. Don’t forget to save the date for the 2016 summit on May 11th!


Some standout leaders from the MobileGov community represent the Social Security Administration, Army Corps of Engineers, and the Congressional Research Service.

David Fern, from the Social Security Administration, led the Federal CrowdSource Mobile Testing Program for more than 2 years and started publishing articles about mobile testing best practices. Check out The Emulator Dilemma: Can Mobile Device Testing be Completed without Mobile Devices? or Trends on Tuesday: Native App Lessons from the Crowdsourced Mobile Testing Program.

The Army Corps of Engineers’ Courtney Greenley is surfacing lost apps federal agencies have not put in the Federal Mobile Apps Registry with the Mobile Product Hunt. By leading this effort Courtney helped uncover 27 new apps to date.

We wanted to recognize the Open and Structure Content Working Group, which conducted a very successful Open and Structured Content hands-on workshop in June. If you’re interested you can check out Structured Content in Government: How HHS and NCI are Getting Started. Past leaders of this group include Hannah Rubin from the Congressional Research Service, Holly Irving from the Food and Drug Administration and Lakshmi Grama from The National Cancer Institute.

Kevin Downey, from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, just wrapped up as our Thursday Mobile Products contributor. Some of our favorite pieces of his were about AMBC’s apps, this one about Piping Plovers, his update about IRS2Go and of course about his organization’s app—Operation Predator’s impact on mission. Other awesome writers have been from the Social Security Administration, Genevieve Contey from NOAA and Kanika Tolver formerly of DOT (she’s a contractor for State now).

The mobile community also has volunteers writers for our Trends on Tuesday posts. Past writers include Treci Johnson from U.S. Department of the Interior, Lisa Wilcox from USDA and Linda V. Priebe formerly of Office of National Drug Control Policy. Will Sullivan, 18f team member, is our current writer, and is off to a strong start with posts on smartphone use, live streaming tips and phablet purchases.

User & Customer Experience (UX & CX)

Some leaders from the User Experience and Customer Experience groups include folks who are champions of knowledge sharing and making sure the user/customer is at the forefront of thinking during decision making at their agencies.

Lin Wang, of the U.S. Census Bureau, is the head of Census’ UX program, a federal leader in survey methodology and a great friend to the UX community. She has been sponsoring tours of their UX lab, discussing their team structure and leading workshops for the larger community.

Stephanie Wade, from OPM, is the powerhouse lead of their Innovation Lab, undertaking one of the most extensive user-centered research projects in the federal government to fix USAJOBS.

Silvia Salazar, of the National Institutes of Health at the National Cancer Institute, leads the National Cancer Institute’s UX lab, offering tours and webinars to teach the greater community. She is a leader in Spanish-language UX and currently working on an incredible research project to catalog the effects of nuclear tests on U.S. citizens (now in their 80s and 90s!).

You may have heard there is a newly coordinated Customer Experience Community. Martha Dorris, of GSA, has led the effort to pull together customer experience practitioners from across government to share stories, hurdles, innovations and accomplishments.

Multilingual Community of Practice

Also from GSA, Leilani Martinez and Victoria Wales produced articles supporting the advancements in reaching multilingual communities. Take a look at Real Internationalization Isn’t Just Geographic: It’s Linguistic or Betting on Email: How We’re Reaching Hispanics via Their Inbox.


In the #SocialGov Community we’d like to acknowledge representatives from the National Institutes of Health, State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Defense Intelligence Agency, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). These rock stars not only consistently contributed to inter-agency programs on top of running their own, they specifically helped build the collaborative model that led to the creation of our best new initiatives like the U.S. Public Participation Playbook, the Cyber-Vandalism Prevention toolkit and created content for us.

Alison Lemon of NIH was a SocialGov 20%-er, through Open Opportunities, taking on knowledge management and writing articles. Take a look at how HHS and the Environmental Protection Agency used Thunderclap to spread their campaigns.

Check out How Social Media Informs Leadership and Public Initiatives co-written by Corina Dubois, of the State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs, or take a peek at the recap of the event Sharing the Essentials of Animated GIFs for Public Service featuring Michael Thomas from the Office of Director of National Intelligence. Brittany Stevenson is not only is a #socialgov rock star but she is the federal Terms of Service Point of Contact for the FCC. Finally, Jordan Higgins from the Defense Intelligence Agency has been our “go-to” guy on cyber-security in social.

Of course this just scratches the surface of good work that’s happening in DigitalGov—are you and your team rock stars? Tell us what you’re up to!