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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 63 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 28 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

Senior 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

Senior 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

Senior 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.

Liz Fox

Staff Product Designer

Liz’s a product designer and user researcher. Most recently, she worked on mobile products and design systems at Salesforce. She’s passionate about building technology in service of the people who use it. Liz lives in Wisconsin.

Rin Concordia

Staff DevOps Engineer

Rin’s a software engineer-turned-SRE, with a penchant for public service. She’s a former member of the United States Air Force Auxiliary — the Civil Air Patrol — where she served as a state-level IT director and rescue aircrew member. She’s currently working on building out her own digital search and rescue system as an Auxiliarist with the United States Coast Guard. Rin lives in Illinois.

Alis Akers

Senior DevOps Engineer

Alis is a DevOps engineer interested in building reliable products using the latest cloud technologies to improve the lives of users. They’ve established integrations for patient engagement and monitoring across several large health systems and led the development of infrastructure and software pipeline requirements and tooling. They live in Oregon.

Priscilla Peralta

Product Designer

Priscilla’s a product designer formerly from the entertainment industry. She’s drawn to creating positive change through thoughtful design and championing the user’s experience. Most recently, she worked at a fin-tech startup where she helped develop an out-of-app feature to help improve account accessibility for users in Nigeria. Priscilla lives in California.

Ryan Gaddis

Senior Product Designer

Ryan’s a designer and researcher who’s ready to apply his decade of industry expertise to civic tech. He strives to make thoughtful decisions and challenge assumptions. He’s also a volunteer firefighter in his community. Ryan lives in Colorado.

Bryan Britten

Staff Data Engineer

Bryan’s a data engineer with a drive to work on projects that have meaningful impact. He previously worked at Meta and has built data solutions to help address issues of money laundering, financial fraud, gun violence, and disinformation campaigns. Bryan lives in Washington.

Kyle Planeaux

Senior Product Manager

Kyle’s a product manager with several years of experience in the government defense space. Previously, he was a civilian product manager working for the Space Force. Kyle studied chemical engineering at the University of Southern California and is working on a graduate degree in Computer Science from Georgia Tech. He lives in California.

Zedd Shmais

Staff Software Engineer

Zedd’s a software engineer with several years of experience across a range of industries. Most recently, he worked at Pivotal Labs / VMware Tanzu where he helped companies of all sizes with their digital transformation journeys. Zedd has a masters degree in computer science from Georgia Tech. He lives in Texas.

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

Chief Operating Officer

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

Principal User Researcher

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.

Laura King

Staff User Researcher

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

Principal 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

Staff 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

Staff 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

Senior 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

Principal 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 South 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

Senior 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

Senior 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

Senior 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

Senior Product Manager

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. Previously, she studied human development and led hands-on engineering projects with kids. She now specializes in continuous discovery, usability testing, and human-centered design. Tomi lives in Illinois.

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.

Kenny Nieh

Senior 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.

Jamie Song

Chief of Staff

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 Kentucky.

Gianna Buda

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.

Leslie Garner Franklin

VP of Human Services

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.

Nicole Wright

Senior 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

Staff 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

VP of Defense Services

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.

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

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

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

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

Staff 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

Staff 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

Senior 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

Senior 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 Hawaii.

Emma Stephenson

Staff 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, Jamie Song, 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.