Stephanie Neill, executive director of the DHS Digital Service, discusses the ways that her team has grown since its formation, and what they have learned over the past three years.
Digital Service teams across the government have changed the way that citizens interact with government agencies. One of the last teams formed under the Obama administration is located at the Department of Homeland Security. Since its inception in 2015, the service has rebuilt the Trusted Traveler program, modernized immigration processing and worked to reform acquisition at the department. Stephanie Neill, executive director of the DHS Digital Service, says that the team has evolved greatly since its formation. “Broadly speaking, we’ve gone from start-up mode, sort of scrappy, do what it takes, to more of a scaled-up mode. When we first arrived in 2015, we were working with just one program, and really focused on fighting engineering fires and helping to drive adoption of basic agile techniques,” Neill said. While we did come in with some clout with our White House backing and the success of our Healthcare.gov recovery, we did still have to work to build that trust within the department.”