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Transforming Government, an 18F panel

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Kris A. and 7 others


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Meet the multidisciplinary team from 18F that is transforming government from the inside out,building a 21st century digital government.

18F is a civic consultancy for the government—inside the government—enabling agencies to rapidly deploy tools and services that are easy to operate, cost efficient, and reusable.

Panel Agenda

6:00 - 6:45 Pre-networking

6:45 Panel Intro

7:00 Open Q&A

7:30 - 8:30 Post-networking, mingling

8:30 - 10:00 Post-event hangout at Home Plate@UCSD

Food and non-alcohol beverages provided, courtesy of VIA Technical and SDXD.

Location courtesy of UCSD Design Lab.

About 18F

Built in the spirit of America's top tech startups, 18F is a team of top-notch designers, developers, and product specialists inside the General Services Administration, ( headquartered at 18 and F streets in Washington, D.C. 18F is a civic consultancy for the government, inside the government, enabling agencies to rapidly deploy tools and services that are easy to operate, cost efficient, and reusable. They are transforming government from the inside out, creating cultural change by working with teams inside agencies who want to create great services for the public.

What 18F has accomplished?

Every Kid in a Park ( (U.S. Department of the Interior, The White House, etc) to help U.S. fourth graders obtain their free pass to national lands and waters and is specially designed to be used by kids.

The College Scorecard ( website and API to give students and their families access to a wealth of previously-unavailable data about colleges and universities.

The Federalist platform ( to make it faster for government agencies to build websites that are secure, responsive, and accessible. ( is a new way for people to discover for themselves how political campaigns raise and spend money. The project harnesses user research to make sure that people have access to millions of complex records it a way that is easy to find and makes sense.


Kara DeFrias, Sr. Adviser

Kara's background is a unique mix of private and public sector experience, including 4 years with the TurboTax UX team in San Diego and an appointment to the first class of White House Presidential Innovation Fellows. She currently serves as Senior Adviser to the head of 18F, a digital agency inside the federal government that's transforming it from the inside out. Previous experience includes the Oscars, Emmys, Super Bowl, and Women's World Cup. A do-gooder junkie, Kara does pro-bono PR, social media, and UX for the likes of TEDxSanDiego and Team Rubicon; spent 10 days in rural India teaching innovation and business skills to micro-entrepreneur women; and guest lectures at UCSD STEM Academy for high school girls. Twitter: @CaliforniaKara

Michelle Hertzfeld, UX Developer

Yesterday: Taught ranchers to use geospatial information; worked at NOAA’s Satellite Service on international environmental data exchange; served as a Presidential Innovation Fellow for the Department of the Interior. Master’s degrees in Mandarin and environmental policy.

Today: UX, product management, and front end code at 18F. Working on the U.S. Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, which is part of an international effort to promote open and accountable management of natural resources. Captain of Tucson, Arizona’s local Code for America Brigade (

Tomorrow: Continuing to help bring clarity, transparency, and ease of use to government services.

Andrew Maier, User Experience Designer

Andrew is a designer and user researcher by trade but describes his role at 18F more broadly.

"I enjoy everything from project management and policy/governance to user research, interaction design, and front end development," he says. "Basically, I enjoy everything related to software development that doesn't involve a database — especially the human bits."

Andrew comes to 18F from the Code for America fellowship program, where he worked with the state of Rhode Island on educational projects. Before that, he developed his wireframing and coding skills as the lead interaction designer at a startup, developed 11 applications simultaneously for an agile development consulting firm, and cofounded a small publication to discuss best practices related to user-centered design. He holds a bachelor's degree in discrete mathematics from Georgia Tech University.

Will Slack, Business Strategy Dep. Director

Will Slack is the Deputy Director for Business Strategy at 18F, an in-government digital tech shop. He represents 18F to leaders across government with digital challenges and represents potential projects to 18F through the project selection process. In addition, he makes technical subjects like Git, GitHub, and electronic medical records accessible to non-techies via workshops. Prior to 18F, Will was a healthcare IT implementation and product executive. If not at work, Will can be found discussing policy, election processes, space exploration, and epidemiology on DC rooftops. Twitter: @wslack.

Lindsay Young, Civic Technologist

Lindsay Young helps make the government more accountable to citizens through her work as a web developer at 18F. She is currently working with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to create and a user-centered website powered by the FEC's first API. A strong advocate for open data, Lindsay says she enjoys working with the FEC because the project "combines [her] love for making data-driven web apps with [her] passion for disclosure."

While not at her day job, she teaches Python as part of Johns Hopkins’ Government Analytics Master’s program. Before 18F, Lindsay spent five years as an investigative reporter at the Sunlight Foundation, where she learned coding on the job and became a professional web developer.

Emileigh Barnes, Content Designer

Emileigh is a content designer at 18F. An advocate of plain language and the Oxford comma, you can check out her work at ( , ( , and in academic and literary journals. She’s the author of two poetry chapbooks. If not at work, Emileigh’s probably watching West Wing reruns, searching for DC’s best taco (no cilantro), or hanging out at the dog park with her boxer, Huckleberry Finn. Twitter: @emileighoutlaw

About VIA Technical

Special thanks to our food sponsor, VIA Technical.

VIA Technical is the premier technical recruiting option specializing in matching mid- to senior-level talent with companies in San Diego. With more than a decade in the industry, the firm has worked with thousands of candidates and hundreds of companies in the area. VIA Technical identifies candidates for contract and direct-hire positions in a wide range of technical fields, from business intelligence to database management, application development, network engineering and security.

Atkinson Hall UC San Diego La Jolla, CA · San Diego, CA
20 spots left