Description

Census Open Innovation Labs at the U.S. Census Bureau is seeking a civic tech program manager with experience and interest in civic tech and/or civic engagement who can provide ongoing support for a range of open innovation initiatives. In particular, this individual will serve as a team lead for The Opportunity Project (opportunity.census.gov), a leading government open data initiative creating digital tools to serve the public with open data.   

The Census Bureau is the nation's largest federal statistical agency, with a Constitutional mandate to count every person living in the US every 10 years.  The next count in 2020 is a critical pillar of democracy, and will be used to allocate $700B/year in federal funds, as well as seats in the House of Representatives. 

Census Open Innovation Labs (COIL) is a nimble, startup-like team within the U.S. Census Bureau with a portfolio of projects that are setting a standard for open innovation across government. COIL is a rapidly growing team of 12 federal employees and contractors, dedicated to sourcing knowledge and solutions, both internal and external, to solve key challenges for communities and the public at large through user centered design, data, and technology.  Open innovation includes strategies such as crowdsourcing, open data initiatives, prize competitions and challenges, and more. COIL works closely with the tech, media, and entertainment industries, along with federal agencies across government, nonprofits, and other organizations towards two main goals: 1) to increase American economic opportunity through open federal data and 2) to increase response rates in the 2020 Census, particularly among communities considered “hard to count”— historically yielding low response rates on censuses and surveys.

This position will primarily support The Opportunity Project and related in-person user engagement workshops, but may also contribute to Census Accelerate, User Centered Design training, and other COIL programs.  The contractor will work directly with The Opportunity Project Director, COIL Design Director, and COIL Director of Operations to implement TOP sprints and prize competitions.  

Specific activities will include: 
  • Facilitate virtual tech development sprint processes to engage Census Bureau experts, other government stakeholders, technologists and communities in developing digital tools with open data.  In 2019, key themes will include the future of the workforce and the 2020 Census.  
  • Recruit sprint participants and facilitate sprint milestones. 
  • Facilitate virtual interaction across participants through Slack and other channels.
  • Engage sprint participants in user research and data exploration activities. 
  • Help to plan and execute in-person user engagement workshops with community members, technologists, universities, local and federal government and other stakeholders.
  • Engage with data stewards at the Census Bureau and across federal government agencies to identify high value data sets to be leveraged in new digital products; share and collect data feedback from software developers; and exchange best practices around data dissemination and data consumer engagement. 
  • Support planning and execution of annual technology/product Demo Day events that engage a wide audience of stakeholders within the Census Bureau, federal, state and local government, industry, advocacy and academia. 
  • Work with other COIL team members to execute first ever TOP prize competition.
  • Leverage professional networks in and outside of government to build partnerships that enhance Census Bureau’s ability to deliver on its core mission areas.

Location and time commitment
  • Washington, DC preferred but remote work is possible
  • 30-40 hours per week
  • Preference for 6 month commitment with possibility for extended duration
  • Travel not required but travel opportunities will exist if interested

This is a contractor position beginning immediately.  If interested please contact Drew Zachary (drew.a.zachary@census.gov). 

Skills and responsibilities

Experience: 
  • At least 3 years experience in civic tech or similar space and/or in project/program management
  • Experience working in technology or media industries, or engaging with them while in government
  • Experience with technology design/build sprints
  • Experience with user engagement, user experience research, and user centered design
  • Experience collaborating with a broad range of stakeholders in technology, community organizations, and government
  • Prefer candidates with some experience in federal open data/open government initiatives, government digital services organizations and programs
Technical skills: 
  • Must have strong understanding of user-centered design principles
  • Ability to facilitate collaboration across stakeholders 
  • Product design and development skills a plus, but not required
  • Excellent organizational and project management skills
  • Excellent writing skills and overall effective communicator
  • Experience with Slack, Google drive, hangouts/video conference, Github
Interpersonal and team skills: 
  • Entrepreneurial mindset, self-directed/self-starting
  • Adaptability, ability to work in extremely face paced, evolving, and often nebulous environment
  • Ability to thrive in a start up environment as well as navigate large bureaucracies
  • Team player, comfort working in highly collaborative environment and with distributed/remote team members
  • Ability to maintain energy and optimism in spite of often challenging political and organizational environment
  • High EQ, empathy for partners, collaborators, and end users of our products
  • Public engagement and customer service orientation

Details

  • Location:
    WASHINGTON
    ,
    DC
    Remote work friendly but DC preferred. Optional travel about once per month
  • This job is remote friendly.
  • Salary: , This is a contract position with the US Census Bureau through a consulting agreement. Salary based on experience.
  • Deadline:
    2019-05-31

Qualifications

Minimum qualifications

  • At least 3 years experience in civic tech or similar space and/or in project/program management (this could include experience gained as a student)
  • Candidate must be authorized to work in the US

Preferred qualifications

Interpersonal and team skills are extremely important for this position (see above)

Technical skills: 
  • Must have strong understanding of user-centered design principles
  • Ability to facilitate collaboration across stakeholders 
  • Product design and development skills a plus, but not required
  • Excellent organizational and project management skills
  • Excellent writing skills and overall effective communicator
  • Experience with Slack, Google drive, hangouts/video conference, Github