Engineering Volunteer

We’re looking for empathetic, communicative, and organized engineering volunteers to support USDR projects. Great candidates bring experience from from a variety of engineering backgrounds. Above all, they take an agile, iterative approach to discovering human-centric solutions with our government partners.



About U.S. Digital Response

Founded by former U.S. Deputy CTOs and seasoned tech industry veterans who led federal open data policies and digital government strategy, U.S. Digital Response is a nonpartisan, nonprofit effort that connects pro bono tech expertise with governments and organizations responding to crisis. USDR serves the immediate needs of the public by quickly activating highly-skilled talent, leveraging modern technology, and providing tactical surge capacity to public servants on the front line. Learn more about our work at or by reading our recent press coverage.



At a high level, you might be a good fit for this role if:

  • You have great client management skills. Government workers are in a tough position: they’re facing problems at an unprecedented scale, under tight timelines. USDR volunteers show up on calls as authoritative and proactive, but also empathetic, flexible, and respectful. No tech saviorism!
  • You have the technical background to design solutions to our partners’ needs. You should be comfortable prototyping, evaluating, and recommending common technology solutions and workflows.
  • Given the urgency of this need, we’re looking for volunteers with proven experience executing projects.
  • You have at least 10 hours per week to volunteer with USDR for at least two months.
We are especially in need of front end developers, back end developers and WordPress developers.



Our commitment to our volunteers:

  • Engage in real work that will affect the quality of real people’s lives. Our partners are looking to USDR volunteers for help solving tangible problems.
  • Learn from experts in the field. Elected officials and longtime govtech practitioners are involved in USDR on a day-to-day basis. We regularly host talks and happy hours with experts from the wider community.
  • Experience the challenge of applying what you already know to a new problem. Volunteers often find that the skills they’ve acquired are highly transferable to public sector work, and highly prized by public servants.
  • Be part of a team and community that’s building something bigger to create lasting change. Today’s crises are an opportunity to make governments more responsive for future crises.

Learn more about this role

We are hosting an information session on Friday, January 22nd from 10:30am – 11:00am PT. You can register for this info session through Zoom.


Sign up to volunteer with USDR

Volunteers submit an application that is reviewed by the USDR team for skills and commitment. If we believe the applicant could be a good fit for a placement, we conduct a screening call where we discuss their specific qualifications, interest, and availability. We’ll do our best to match you and will reach out to volunteers as we find matching projects for you to take on.

Additional information about specific roles:

Front End Developer

USDR works with government agencies on many kinds of development projects, from community information websites to complex internal toolsets. We are looking for Front End Developers with a range of experience.

Here are some of the kinds of work USDR Front End Developers might collaborate on:

  • Determine site needs and technical requirements with USDR project leads and government stakeholders
  • Creating internal tools and dashboards
  • Understanding complex processes and building tools to streamline work
  • Creating rapid prototypes of ideas to get input and build momentum on ideas
  • Implementing redesigns of existing websites
  • Creating tools to help governments communicate the constantly evolving updates on public health, services, and economic stimulus
  • Developing services to handle an influx of new information

Here are examples of the skills we’re looking for. We don’t expect a single applicant to have experience with all of them. If you have any of these skills please raise your hand to volunteer!

  • HTML5
  • CSS3
  • JavaScript (including React and TypeScript)
  • If you have experience with other front end frameworks or tools, let us know!