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We’re Skylight!

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

Our story

Skylight was launched in June of 2017. We’re currently made up of 57 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 official headquarters is in sunny Sarasota, Florida, but we’re a distributed and remote-friendly team currently spread across 24 different states. Sometimes the nature of our client work calls for closer proximity to their location. So far, we’ve worked with clients located in places like Washington DC, Hartford (Connecticut), Montgomery (Alabama), Baltimore (Maryland), and Ottawa (Canada).

Meet the team

Mina Cairns

Head of Corporate Development

Mina possesses nearly 20 years of consulting, technology, and leadership experience in the public sector. She specializes in corporate strategy, corporate development, and large-scale program management. Mina lives in Florida.

Sarah Tress

Product Designer

Sarah’s an engineer and social scientist who loves to work at the intersection of technology and public service. She recently graduated from Oxford with a Master’s in Development Studies as a Rhodes Scholar after studying Mechanical Engineering at MIT. Sarah lives in New York.

Gordon Farrell

Software Engineer

Gordon’s a software engineer specializing in government tech. He built his career in civil service with the Department of Defense, where he focused on software modernization in the U.S. Air Force’s Kessel Run program. Gordon’s a champion for automated testing, high cadence CI/CD, and working directly with users to provide great software. Gordon lives in Colorado.

Jennifer Herzberg

Product Designer

Jennifer’s a product designer who specializes in user-centered design. Previously, she led design at early- to mid-stage stage startups in the healthcare, education, and real estate industries. Jennifer studied Cognitive Science with a specialization in Human-Computer Interaction at UC San Diego. She lives in California.

Sarah George Hager

Software Engineer

George’s an engineer who enjoys building software that makes life easier, more equitable, and delightful. She specializes in full-stack software engineering and test-driven development, and loves developing best practices on engineering teams. George previously worked with the U.S. Air Force’s Kessel Run program. She lives in Massachusetts.

David McClatchey

Software Engineer

David’s a software engineer who strives to create simple and robust solutions to complex problems. He’s most recently worked at Home Depot where he helped migrate its product data to the cloud and built highly-visible APIs from that data. David lives in Georgia.

Chris Cairns

Chief Executive Officer

Chris served as a Presidential Innovation Fellow, and co-founded 18F and Technology Transformation Services, 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.

Nicole Campbell

VP of Defense Services

Nicole’s a product manager with a passion for building technology that solves complex user problems. Most recently she worked as a consultant at Pivotal Labs/VMware to help transform the way large enterprises and startups build software. She specializes in extreme programming, lean product management, and user-centered design. Nicole lives in Illinois.

Victor Zapanta

Research & Design Practice Lead

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 data.gov, foia.gov, my.uscis.gov, and cloud.gov. He specializes in design leadership, service design, user experience design, and design research. Victor resides in New York.

Maya Benari

Product Designer

Maya’s 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.

Shashank Khandelwal

VP of Human Services

Shashank’s a former member of 18F, where he held multiple leadership positions, including Director of cloud.gov. 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 King

Service Designer

Laura’s a 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

Chief Information Officer

Josh’s 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.

Robert Read

Software 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.

Nick Bristow

Software Engineer

Nick’s 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.

Geoff Mulligan

IoT Practice Lead

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.

Andrew Wagner

Software Engineer

Andrew’s 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

Product Designer

Becca’s 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

Software 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 loves using data for public good. He specializes in data science, data engineering, and software engineering. Brandon graduated from Dartmouth College, where he earned a double major in Math and Computer Science. He 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 California.

Peggy Chau

User Researcher

Peggy’s a researcher and designer who transitioned from clinical neuroscience research. She’s worked on various projects, from researching robot vacuums with Samsung to redesigning a pain communication app with UPMC. Peggy lives in Massachusetts.

Zack Gehin

Product Designer

Zack’s certified in UX by the Nielsen Norman Group and specializes in complex application design. His entrepreneurial spirit adds a unique approach towards empathizing for users and identifying the right problems to solve. He’s helped form design teams, and served as a design leader in the non-profit, financial investments, and healthcare industries. Zack lives in Florida.

Nick Clyde

Software Engineer

Nick’s a software engineer with a passion for using technology to solve the right kinds of problems. He especially enjoys building APIs, designing and optimizing databases, and crafting system architectures. He has experience working on and improving high-traffic government digital services. Nick lives in California.

Charlye Tran

Service Designer

Charlye loves to solve complex problems. As a former software and data engineer, she now specializes in service design and product management and is certified in UX by the Nielsen Norman Group. Charlye lives in Texas.

Tomi Obikunle

User Researcher

Tomi’s a researcher who strives to meet and honor people where they are. She specializes in continuous discovery, usability testing, and user-centered design. Tomi lives in Illinois.

Phoebe Espiritu

Product Designer

Phoebe has over 20 years of product design, UX design, and leadership experience. She was named among the 25 Women Driving New York’s Tech Scene. Previously, she served as a member of 18F, taught MFA Design Entrepreneurship at Parsons Design and Technology, mentored dozens of startups, and led design at a number of technology companies.

Elisa Lee

Software Engineer

Elisa’s a software engineer with a desire to use technology to support positive change in communities. They previously worked in the developer tools, education technology, and non-profit spaces. Elisa lives in Minnesota.

Jordan Guinn

Software Engineer

Jordan’s devoted to building products and platforms that deliver great user experiences. He specializes in software engineering, data engineering, and DevOps. Jordan lives in Oregon.

Lucas Newman

Software Engineer

Lucas’s a software engineer with an unflinching faith in the ethical potential of technology to solve big societal problems. He specializes in mobile application architecture and engineering. Lucas lives in Georgia.

Kenny Nieh

Product Designer

Kenny’s a product designer, inclusive systems thinker, and people person. They work through the whole gamut of product design to create experiences that fit into people’s lives. Kenny lives in California.

Rebecca Lubitz-Marchena

Content Designer

Rebecca’s a content designer with a background in product marketing, UX writing, and localization. She enjoys turning complex concepts into plain language and creating great experiences through human-centered content. Rebecca lives in Maryland.

Chris Smith

Chief Operating Officer

Chris’ an experienced executive with nearly 20 years of leading technology consulting and delivery teams in support of government clients. He lives in Maryland.

Jamie Song

Product Manager

Jamie’s a product manager with a passion for good, clean product experiences. She excels at leading and managing cross-functional teams across the entire product lifecycle. Jamie lives in Washington DC.

Elyse Brumfield

Administrative Assistant

Elyse’s our amazing administrative assistant. She recently graduated from Transylvania University and is seeking a degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Hodges University. Elyse lives in Florida.

Gianna Uson

Software Engineer

Gianna’s a software engineer who’s passionate about leveraging technology and partnering with communities to improve the lives of others. She was a 2018 Civic Digital Fellow at the State Department and graduated from Brown University with a degree in Computer Science. Gianna lives in Indiana.

Jesse Skeets

Software Engineer

Jesse’s a software engineer with a background in federal health. He enjoys all aspects of software development and loves solving inefficiencies while building secure and robust applications. He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from The California Maritime Academy and is a Naval Reserve Officer. He lives in California.

Leslie Garner Franklin

Product Manager

Leslie’s a product manager with nearly two decades of experience leading teams and change efforts across the non-profit and public sectors. She’s passionate about the role technology and design play in delivering great services. She specializes in cross-functional team leadership, user experience research, and service design. Leslie lives in North Carolina.

Chun Yen

DevOps Engineer

Chun’s passionate about automating everything and creating great experiences for other engineers. He specializes in DevOps engineering, cloud computing, and security. Chun lives in Maryland.

Nicole Wright

Product Manager

Nicole’s a product manager, who’s drawn to delivering products that help people. Most recently, she worked with the Air Force’s Kessel Run program to modernize in-air refueling planning and platform development. Nicole lives in Washington.

Tiffany Nieh

Product Designer

Tiffany’s a product designer who loves understanding people’s needs and creating solutions that have a positive impact. Most recently, she worked at Pivotal Labs / VMware Tanzu where she helped startups, large enterprises, and government organizations build software using modern practices. Tiffany lives in California.

Karthik Patil

Product Manager

Karthik’s a product manager with several years of experience across a range of industries. Most recently, he worked at Pivotal Labs / VMware Tanzu. Karthik graduated from Creighton University with degrees in Economics and Business Intelligence and Analytics. He lives in Texas.

Becca Woodberry

Head of Recruiting

Becca’s passionate about building great organizations by hiring and supporting great people. Previously, she supported staffing needs at Waymo, LinkedIn, and other high-tech companies in the Silicon Valley area. Becca specializes in staffing, onboarding, people leadership, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. She lives in Arizona.

Nathan Carter

Software Engineer

Nathan’s a software engineer driven by building digital services for public good. Prior to becoming an engineer, he ran his own bakery. Nathan lives in North Carolina.

Matt Goldberg

Content Designer

Matt’s a content designer and storyteller with a background in clean tech innovation. He enjoys making complex information accessible to everyone. He also cares deeply about improving people’s lives and livelihoods. Matt lives in Pennsylvania.

Nick Blake

Product Designer Apprentice

Nick’s a product designer, who’s studying psychology and human-computer interaction at the Washington University in St. Louis. They most recently worked as a Civic Digital Fellow at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Nick lives in Missouri.

Bob Zhao

Software Engineer Intern

Bob’s a software engineer in pursuit of solving large-scale problems that matter. In 2020, he served as Civic Digital Fellow at the National Institutes of Health, and is currently pursuing a masters degree in computer science at Washington University in St. Louis. He lives in Missouri.

Ashton Tu

Product Designer Apprentice

Ashton’s a product designer, who recently graduated from the University of Southern California. As a 2020 Civic Digital Fellow with the General Services Administration, she discovered her passion for civic tech. Ashton lives in California.

Tim Niehoff

Product Manager

Tim’s a seasoned product manager with a passion for building small, releasing early, and iterating often. Most recently, he worked at Pivotal Labs / VMware Tanzu where he helped transform the way startups and large enterprises build software. Tim lives in Illinois.

Pri Kiser

Product Designer

Pri’s a product designer who draws on her background in neuroscience and human-computer interaction to create delightful user experiences. She previously worked at Pivotal Labs / VMware Tanzu where she built high-impact products and scaled design practices across various types of organizations. Pri lives in Texas.

Taylor Curtiss

Product Designer

Taylor’s passionate about improving government services through user-centered design. She’s an Air Force veteran and most recently worked as a product designer at Kessel Run. Taylor specializes in research, design, strategic thinking, and building high-performing teams. She lives in Massachusetts.

Laura Kerry

Content Designer

Laura’s a content designer who specializes in content strategy, design, operations, and governance. She loves distilling complex information into human-centered content, and enjoys empowering others to do the same. Most recently, Laura worked at the NYC Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity. She lives in New York.

Emma Stephenson

Software Engineer

Emma’s a software engineer with a passion for creating user-centered products. She previously worked at Google, and is experienced in a number of different technical areas, including APIs, microservices, and DevOps. Emma lives in California.

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, check out our career opportunities. 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 our latest thinking at our company blog.

You can also follow along on Twitter, LinkedIn, or YouTube.

Feel free to reach out directly to one of our leaders — Chris Cairns, Shashank Khandelwal, or Nicole Campbell.

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

Change lives every day.

We need great technologists, designers, and more to work on changing
how the government serves the public.