Skip to Main Content

We're Skylight!

Our mission is to make government work in a digital world.

Illustration of a laptop with various govtech and civictech stickers on the back of it.

Our story

Skylight was launched in June of 2017. We're currently made up of 30 people and one ferret. A lot of us originally worked for civic-oriented groups such as 18F, the U.S. Digital Service, and the Presidential Innovation Fellows. Now, as part of Skylight, we're working hard to cultivate an incredible team and culture.

What brings us together is a passion for creating better outcomes for the public through great government digital services. We're basically impact junkies. But we're also engineers, developers, designers, product managers, consultants, writers, speakers, inventors, roboticists, gamers, authors, veterans, entrepreneurs, parents, and more. Such a diverse team always gives us a unique perspective on things.

Our headquarters is in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, but we're a distributed and remote-friendly team. A lot of our client work originates from Washington DC.

Certified HUBZone

We're certified by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as a Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) company. This special SBA designation means we're committed to revitalizing local communities through job creation. In turn, we're granted privileged access to federal government contract opportunities, including up to $4M per contract award.

To maintain our HUBZone status, 35% of our employees must be located in one of the nearly 20,000 HUBZone areas across the country. Of that 35%, the greatest number of people must be concentrated in our "principal office" location, which is in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The remaining percentage of people are free to live in whatever HUBZone locale they prefer.

Meet the team

Chris Cairns

Digital Transformer

Chris served as a Presidential Innovation Fellow, and co-founded 18F and the Technology Transformation Service, both housed within the General Services Administration. He specializes in digital leadership and transformation, digital procurement, and product development and management. Chris lives in Florida.

Marvo Dolor

Engagement Manager

Marvo is a former member of the U.S. Digital Service, where she held multiple leadership positions in support of major initiatives at the Department of Veterans Affairs, including (now and Appeals Modernization. She specializes in digital strategy and leadership, operations, and product management. Marvo lives in Maryland.

Mitchell Sipus

Service Designer

Mitchell served as a Presidential Innovation Fellow, and is best known for designing and launching Africa's first data-driven conflict reconstruction strategy in Mogadishu, Somalia. He's currently completing a PhD in design at Carnegie Mellon, and specializes in design-centric approaches to advanced technology fields such as robotics, artificial intelligence, and Internet of Things. Mitchell lives in Pennsylvania.

Maya Benari

UX Developer

Maya is a former member of 18F where she worked on improving the user experience of government and developed the U.S. Web Design System. She specializes in front-end development, UX design, accessibility, and design systems. She's also a former Code for America fellow. Maya lives in California.

Victor Zapanta

UX Designer

Victor co-founded the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's design+tech team, and served as a member of 18F. His design leadership spans multiple high-profile projects, including,,, and He specializes in design leadership, service design, user experience design, and design research. Victor resides in New York.

Lara Kohl

UX Designer

Lara is a former member of the U.S. Digital Service, where she served as the UX lead over the Veteran Appeals Modernization initiative. She's also a former professor at NYU, SUNY, and Pratt Institute. Lara specializes in design leadership, design research, service design, and user experience design. Lara lives in New York.

Brandon Kirby

Digital Transformer

Brandon is a former member of 18F where he delivered strategy, software, and technology guidance to many government agencies. He's a generalist who uses his experience in software development, agile practices, strategy, and product management to help partners find the right path. He lives in Georgia.

Shashank Khandelwal

Digital Transformer

Shashank is a former member of 18F, where he held multiple leadership positions, including Director of He's also a former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau design+tech fellow. Shashank specializes in digital leadership and transformation, digital procurement, software engineering, and cloud computing. He lives in Maryland.

Laura Vlassarev

UX Designer

Laura is a UX researcher, strategist, and designer. She loves to solve complex problems by empathizing with and understanding the needs of users. Laura lives in Colorado.

Josh Dorothy

DevOps Engineer

Josh is a former member of the U.S. Digital Service, with an interest in building both great platforms and great products. He specializes in DevOps engineering, cloud computing, and user-focused software development. Josh resides in Virginia.

Abby Raskin

Product Manager

Abby is a former member of the U.S. Digital Service, who is drawn to complex problems and passionate about improving the human experience of technology. She specializes in product management and UX research. Abby lives in Illinois.

Gabriel Ramirez

Full Stack Engineer

Gabriel is a former member of 18F and Pivotal, who is passionate about coaching, mentoring, and technical excellence. He specializes in software engineering, APIs, DevSecOps, cloud computing, data engineering, and data science. Gabriel lives in Texas.

Chris Given

Data Engineer

Chris formerly served with the U.S. Digital Service. He loves untangling complex data and system problems, and making data accessible and useful to everyone. Chris specializes in data engineering, data science, and data analytics. He lives in Illinois.

Ashley Treni

UX Designer

Ashley is a UX researcher and designer, with a background in information design and data visualization. As a Design Fellow for the social impact incubator, Blue Ridge Labs, she launched and co-founded Ashley currently teaches UX design at General Assembly. She lives in New York.

Robert Read

Full Stack Engineer

Robert served as a Presidential Innovation Fellow and co-founded 18F. He's been programming since he was 13 years old, and holds a PhD in computer science. Robert builds robots, among other things, for public good. He specializes in software engineering, data science and engineering, engineering management, and agile practices. Robert lives in Texas.

Lesley Evans

UX Researcher

Lesley is a UX researcher, with a passion for creating delightful user experiences. She specializes in a variety of qualitative and quantitative research techniques, including user interviews, user modeling, usability testing, prototyping, and more. Lesley lives in Colorado.

Nick Bristow

Full Stack Engineer

Nick is a former member of 18F, who relentlessly pursues creating products that are fully accessible and meet the needs of all users. He specializes in accessibility, software engineering, frontend development, and cloud computing. Nick resides in Virginia.

Cailyn Hansen

Data Engineer

Cailyn is a data engineer and full-stack web developer, with a passion for making data open and accessible and unravelling legacy code. She specializes in human-centered data science & engineering, DevOps, and test-driven development. Cailyn interned at Facebook and graduated from Brown. She lives in New York.

Geoff Mulligan

IoT Architect

Geoff served as a Presidential Innovation Fellow, and has developed standards that power the internet, including IPv6 and 6LoWPAN. He specializes in Internet of Things, distributed and embedded systems engineering, networking technologies, and privacy and security. Geoff resides in Colorado.

Victoria Suwardiman

UX Researcher

Victoria is a UX researcher, who made the crossover from computer science. She specializes in a number of qualitative and quantitative research techniques, including usability testing, journey mapping, and wireframing. Victoria resides in Massachusetts.

Colin Craig

Full Stack Engineer

Colin is a former member of 18F, who is passionate about coaching, mentoring, and leading. While at 18F, he served in technical leadership roles on products such as,,, and FBI Crime Data Explorer. He specializes in software engineering, APIs, DevOps, and data engineering. Colin lives in North Carolina.

Amelia Wellers

Engagement Manager

Amelia is a builder at heart. A recent graduate of Cornell Tech's MBA program, she has expertise in product management, digital strategy, and marketing. Amelia led digital transformation initiatives at the NYC Mayor's Office for Economic Opportunity and the Cambridge Innovation Center. She lives in New York.

Julia Hogan

Software Engineer

Julia is a software engineer excited that she's figured out how to use technology to help people. She's committed to the challenge of improving government services through the integration of smart digital solutions. She most recently worked as an employee of NYC government, building sites and services to increase data access. She lives in New York.

Andrew Wagner

Software Engineer

Andrew is a polyglot software engineer, with a passion for delivering technical excellence. He's worked in the govtech space his entire career, and specializes in software engineering, DevOps, microservices, APIs, and cloud computing. Andrew lives in Virginia.

Becca Bartola

UX Designer

Becca is a former Etsy designer, with a passion for creating positive change through great user experiences. She specializes in user research, user experience design, and visual design. Becca lives in Pennsylvania.

Sean Johnson

Full Stack Engineer

Sean's built and exited two tech startups, one of which was bought by IBM. He's been programming since he was six years old, and specializes in software engineering, product management, and cloud computing. Sean lives in North Carolina.

Brandon Mader

Data Scientist

Brandon is a recent graduate of Dartmouth College, where he earned a double major in Math and Computer Science. He's passionate about making a positive difference through data science, engineering, and analytics. Brandon lives in Ohio.

Kin Lane

API Architect

Kin served as a Presidential Innovation Fellow, and is a world-recognized expert in APIs. Since 2010, he has written over 3,000 articles and spoken at over 50 events on API-related topics. Kin also specializes in software engineering, microservices, data science and engineering, cloud computing, and enterprise software. He lives in Washington.

Always at your service

If you have a question for us, or would just like to get in touch, drop us a message at [email protected]. If you'd like to inquire about hiring us for a job, fill out this short form. If you're interested in joining our team, send us your information. If you'd like to explore forming a partnership to pursue government opportunities, let's talk business.

We love to share our thoughts on technology, design, procurement, business, culture, and more with the world. You can read up on the our latest thinking at our company blog.

You can also follow along on Twitter @skylight_hq.

Feel free to reach out directly to one of our leaders — Chris Cairns or Marvo Dolor.

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about us.