TTS annually awards the Andrew Hyder Government Service Improvement Award to one or more federal employees who demonstrate both excellence in their work and a commitment to improving the public’s experience with government.
This award commemorates the life and work of Andrew Hyder, a consulting software engineer at 18F who tragically passed away in 2021. Andrew was a community organizer who brought together activists, technologists, community members, and others to improve the way that governments delivered services to those in need. Examples of his contributions can be found in these blog posts: A dashboard for privacy offices and Forms Resource for Federalist Users.
“Feed the people” was Andrew’s well-known refrain, though it went beyond just nutritional benefits and programs like GetCalFresh. He challenged colleagues and partners to think about the true benefits and costs of our work, always seeing the connections from our keyboards to the lived experiences of people across the country.
It’s easy when you’re working at a high level to forget to pause, adjust, and take in the impacts of our work on everyday people. Andrew always encouraged us to do this, at all phases of work, gently calling us back to earth when we’d gotten stuck in the clouds. His presence is both deeply missed, and daily cherished.
As we open the 2023 award nomination period to those in TTS internally, we’d like to recognize the work of 2022 honorees Jessica Dussault (18F) and Will Cahoe (10x).
Jess is fun-loving, sincere, hard-working, and dedicated, and she brings enthusiasm and energy to everything that she works on. In her time as a consulting software engineer at 18F, Jess has demonstrated a dedication and enthusiasm to improving government public service through her efforts on projects and contributions to TTS culture.
She worked on improving how the public learns about government services through the 10x Public Service Catalog project. She collaborated on a more secure, agile, and human-centered website for the Office of Head Start’s Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center. Her work improved the existing architecture, and she helped to introduce new software development and hiring practices to the Office of Head Start.
Jess shares new approaches to improving government service through her writings on 18F’s blog, the TTS Engineering Newsletter, every day in Slack, and in the numerous meetings, team meetings, and coffees that she partakes in.
In all of Will’s work, he embodies the enthusiasm, warmth, and dedication that so many of us remember as hallmarks of Andrew’s work in TTS. Will began his federal career in the Peace Corps, and joined TTS soon after. From his first day at GSA, he has infused TTS with humor, kindness, appreciation and celebration of differences, and an immovable dedication to public service. Will’s creativity and ingenuity surface in everything he does – from problem solving to public speaking. Nothing Will does is dull, and the federal government is a better place because of his inventiveness.
Will is the product manager of 10x.gsa.gov, and in this capacity he oversaw the launch of an entirely rebranded and restructured website. Will provided the vision and direction to create a site that both met user needs and reflected the uniqueness of 10x’s approach in the federal space. He crafted all communications, so each project description conveyed both project-specific work and bigger-picture program learnings.