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Making a difference for our nation

Meet some of the people working to improve Federal service delivery

Doing customer experience work in the United States Government requires dedication to mission, the ability to continually re-center on the customers you serve, a willingness to go deep into the weeds of delivery and then zoom out to persuade senior leaders on the value of this work using data, user research, and customer insights. The design constraints we face are unique – but the work could not be more important.

Below are just a few of the amazing people – who bring a diverse range of professional and life experiences to their work - improving services across more than 140 Federal agencies. If you’re interested in joining, consider opportunities on USAJobs, at USDS, and programs at the Technology Transformation Service including 18F and the Presidential Innovation Fellows.

Alexis Schilf

Alexis Schilf works as a Customer Experience Strategist at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Within the Customer Experience Office, she focuses on improving employee experience and integrating service design approaches into bureau work through projects such as Future of Work, CX benchmarking and improvements across internal service lines, and collaborating with partners to build CX capacity. Prior to joining CFPB, Alexis had over 8 years of experience leading user research, developing new products and services, and facilitating design thinking projects as a freelance design strategist across nonprofits, Fortune 1000, and startups. Alexis has a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University.

Amy Cesal

Amy Cesal is a Customer Experience Strategist for GSA Information Technology Office where she is working on increasing usability for widely used applications like the service catalogue, collecting and analyzing customer feedback and generally advocating for a better customer experience. Previously, Amy worked as a Senior User Experience Designer as a contractor for the Veterans Administration, as a Technology and Innovation Fellow at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and at the nonprofit Sunlight Foundation. She holds a Master's Degree in Information Visualization from the Maryland Institute College of Art, where she is also an adjunct professor.

Ana Monroe

Ana Monroe is a Senior Design Strategist at the Office of Customer Experience in GSA. From that office, she works on a variety of projects and is the Lead for GSA's Enterprise Digital Experience team. She is an alumna of The Lab at OPM and GSA's 18F, holds an A.B. in Modern History from Columbia College, Columbia University, an MFA-STEM in Media Design from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, and holds several U.S. and international utility and design patents. She lives in Los Angeles, CA.

Andrea Brown

Andrea Brown is a service designer and innovation specialist within the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She is a member of the service design team developing, testing and scaling a CX benchmarking tool to assess how employee feedback is collected, analyzed, and acted upon within Operations. With broad experience working across system-oriented design, business model design, user experience and co-design she has lead innovation initiatives across large healthcare systems (including Mayo Clinic and Hennepin County Medical Center). She has deep understanding and proven success in bringing human-centered products, services and systems to life and to scale within bureaucratic and risk averse organizations.

Cale Rubenstein

Cale is working as a strategist at Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Program improving the experience of small businesses and NASA in the technology infusion process. Cale joined the NASA SBIR/STTR group in April 2021. Cale previously worked at The Washington Post, where he worked on backend service layers, site experience, and internal tooling. For hobbies, Cale enjoys reading, running, and spending as much time as he can with his dog Chai.

Charles Thomas

Charles Thomas is the Customer Experience Administrator for Trademarks at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). His focus is bringing the voice of the customer into how Trademarks works and makes decisions. The CX program is working to expand its CX research capabilities and integrate these opportunities into the organization’s business models, including working closely with the product teams who design and develop Trademarks’ digital services. Prior to joining USPTO, Charlie had 9 years of experience in digital communications, technical writing, and customer service, primarily in the federal grants space. He has a UX Certification from Nielsen Norman Group, Master of Public Administration from George Mason University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Professional and Technical Writing from Saginaw Valley State University.

Chris Atkins

Lieutenant Colonel Chris Atkins is a Customer Experience Strategist with the State Department’s Bureau of Global Talent Management (GTM), where he and his peer strategists have initiated the first bureau-wide program aimed at improving the experience of the 75,000 clients of GTM services. Chris is also empowering an enhanced employee experience with the State Department’s global well-being platform, known as TalentCare, and is leading development of an intuitive HR software called ‘Moments that Matter’ soon to go live to all Department employees. Chris spent the last 11 years at the VA and the Veterans Experience Office’s national Patient Experience program.

David Tucker

David Tucker is a Customer Experience Strategist at the State Department’s Federal Customer Experience Initiative. Currently, he is working with a small team of CX Strategists on a pilot program to improve experiences with human resource services for State Department employees. David has more than 15 years experience in written and visual communications, graphic design, and user experience design. He has also held roles working with the World Bank, the U.S. Department of Labor, the State Department, and IKEA.

Gabrielle Pfeifer

Gabrielle Pfeifer is a Customer Experience Strategist at the Department of Veteran’s Affairs for Human Capital Management within the Veteran’s Health Administration. Currently responsible for transforming HR into a customer-focused, shared services organization through mapping operational services and processes to stages of the employee experience, advising on strategic programs across the organization, and managing customer surveys to monitor satisfaction. Gabrielle has 7+ years of experience in user and product design in the transportation industry boosting revenue and improving customer satisfaction by concentrating on and promoting customer experience principles and research methods. Gabrielle earned her Industrial Engineering degree from Penn State University and is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt through the American Society for Quality.

Hillary Eason

Hillary Eason is a public sector design and innovation strategist who leads the US Department of Agriculture’s Farm Production and Conservation CX Innovation Lab (FPAC CX iLab), where she works with FPAC agencies to develop and scale improvements to the American producer experience. With a background in international development, Hillary is passionate about helping complex organizations develop user-focused programs, products, and services. Prior to joining the Department of Agriculture, Hillary worked with organizations including the World Bank, Chemonics International, and the humanitarian tech startup Dharma to develop innovation support mechanisms and integrate design and appropriate technology practices into their work.

Jay DuBois

Jay DuBois joined the IRS in 2020 as part of the Taxpayer Digital Communications program within the Office of Online Services. He has a background in building and leading experience design teams, conducting UX research, and stakeholder and operations management. “I’m excited to continue to mature the taxpayer experience at IRS. I thrive in understanding, creating, and optimizing products and services. I have a soft spot for operating models and behavioral economics & decision theory. I prize genuine collaborative relationships as key.”

Jennifer Hill

Jennifer Hill is a Program Analyst at the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service. Jennifer has worked in a variety of areas across Fiscal Service, including Financial Management, Procurement, and Systems Support. She has led innovation initiatives to understand the value proposition that emerging technologies such as RPA, AI, and Blockchain may bring to federal financial management. Most recently, Jennifer is leading Fiscal’s enterprise CX initiative to improve trust in government by providing a modern, seamless, and secure experience for all of Fiscal’s customers.

Jenny Kempson

Jenny Kempson provides oversight across the VA Experience Design portfolio in the Veterans Experience Office, which develops insights and design solutions towards creating enhanced experiences for Veterans across the nation. She is also the Co-Director of the upcoming VA CX Institute to be launched later this year. Jenny has experience building human-centered programs, experiences, and strategies and is most excited when connecting across silos to deliver collective impact. Prior to joining the VA, Jenny worked at Capital One as the Head of Social impact programs where she focused on building a national design portfolio centered around co-designing with nonprofits and underrepresented populations across the country.

Joseph Carter

Joe is an innovative and inclusive leader of people, programs, and projects. He brings HUD nearly twenty years of expertise at the U.S. Department of Commerce implementing customer experience initiatives, strategic plans, IT/digital solutions, communication campaigns, and business policies/procedures across a globally dispersed agency with offices in nearly 80 countries and over 100 U.S. cities. Joe has a proven track record of leading change and collaborating with internal and external stakeholders to achieve meaningful results and solve challenging problems. He is committed to putting people first and customers at the heart of the organization.

Lashanda Hodge

Lashanda Hodge is the Managing Director of Customer Experience and Contact Center, managing a team of experts in customer experience and contact center who work with government agencies to improve customer experience and contact center operations. Lashanda has over 15 years of experience and expertise in customer experience consulting, design, and program and project management. She helps organizations mature their CX capabilities as well as creates compelling experiences for customers and users, and applies human-centered approaches and forward-thinking design to enhance the services provided to customers of various private companies and the Federal Government. She joined GSA COE in 2019 as a Director of Customer Experience and has spent most of her time helping HUD transform into a customer-centric agency while working with JAIC to promote the importance of human-centered design in AI-driven product and tool development. Before joining GSA, Lashanda worked as an Associate Director of Customer Experience Design at a large technology consulting firm.

Laura Fortner

Laura Fortner joined the Department of State fall 2020 in the Bureau of Global Public Affairs (GPA) as a Customer Experience (CX) Strategist. She employs qualitative research methods to support GPA's diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, cultivates internal and external Department partnerships, and is working on a holistic GPA employee experience initiative. Laura has previously served as a DOD and DOJ Service and Interaction Design liaison at Accenture Federal Services - Fjord, an Interaction Designer from Threespot, and Graphic Designer at The General Design Company. Laura received her BFA in Visual Communication from the University of Oklahoma.

Michael Windle

Michael Windle works as a Customer Experience Team Lead at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Within the Individual Assistance Office of Strategy and Innovation, he leads CX strategy for how FEMA works with disaster survivors. At FEMA, he led the creation of FEMA’s Grassroots CX Community which has focused on developing CX skills for staff and promoting the use of CX principles as a way of doing business. Prior to joining FEMA, Michael has nearly a decade of experience across non-profit, management consulting, corporate finance, and supply chain research roles. Michael has a BA from the University of Texas at Austin, an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Mischa Gorenc

Mischa Gorenc is a Customer Experience (CX) Strategist at the U.S. Department of State (DOS) within the Bureau of Global Talent Management alongside a small team of CX Strategists. The team is simultaneously applying their skills to on-the-ground projects while developing CX methods and tools to share across the larger organization and build capacity. Mischa is involved in multiple projects to create optimized experiences for users across touchpoints by driving more personal customer service delivery, aligning processes and communications to better meet the needs of customers, and ensuring technology systems are as user-friendly and consistent as possible. She joins the Federal Customer Experience Initiative with more than 20 years in the digital arena.

Victor Udoewa

Victor Udoewa is a Service Design Lead and Customer Experience Strategist at NASA where he works in the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Program. Victor is building out a Service Design and Customer Experience function (growing the design maturity of the program and design literacies of employees and volunteers) by leading a radically participatory process to uncover the service landscape, create a service index framework (CX, EX, SI/SH), benchmark metrics, uncover customer and employee needs, define service principles, and redesign the future of the service using service design, futures design, and systems practice. Prior to NASA, he was the Director of Strategy at 18F and a Global Education Instructional Designer and Training Development Specialist at Google.