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IT Operations Lead

U.S. Digital Response

U.S. Digital Response

IT, Operations
United States
Posted on Tuesday, March 19, 2024

About U.S. Digital Response

U.S. Digital Response (USDR) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that helps governments and organizations respond quickly and efficiently to support the critical needs of the public.

Leveraging an amazing internal team along with a network of pro-bono technical experts, USDR addresses and uncovers solutions for common, systemic challenges that public servants are facing. We operate with humility and deep respect for our partners and believe that modern and resilient technology applied in the public interest can deliver people-centered services at the speed of need.

Since March 2020, USDR’s projects have impacted people in 42 U.S. states and territories. We've built deep partnerships with over 345 government and nonprofit partners, strong expertise across more than 425 projects, and repeatable processes to solve some of the most pressing challenges in order to help state and local governments meet the critical needs of people today, while building digital resilience to withstand the crises of tomorrow.

Learn more about our last year in our 2023 annual impact report.

About The Role

USDR is looking to fill an IT Operations Lead role that will be responsible for the tools that support the core processes of the organization. This is both a hands-on role implementing tools and processes as well as a strategic role setting the best overall direction of our tools to meet the organization’s goals in collaboration with other organizational leaders. Note that this is not a people management role, nor is there any plan for it to become one in the future.

The hands-on component of this work will be about implementing new tools and processes, not about executing as a helpdesk, where we have an established vendor that this person would manage the relationship with. This role is also not directly responsible for the security posture of the organization, though it will partner with key stakeholders and implement security improvements. This role will report to the organization’s Chief Operating Officer.

You are excited about this opportunity because you will...


Own and maintain/improve key existing workflows with input and partnership from other organizational leaders. Examples include:

  • We use a collection of Airtable bases to track volunteers who have expressed interest in USDR, the projects that volunteers are staffed on, and the tools they have access to. We also use Airtable to track our staff members and their access to systems and tools. These systems often need to be updated to support new use cases.
  • We use HubSpot to track information about our relationships with governments we work with, nonprofits, and funders–including both our long term relationships and the scoping of individual projects with specific governments. HubSpot is integrated with our Airtable bases to connect these relationships with the specific projects that are being worked on. We recently migrated to HubSpot, so this role will play a key role in iteratively improving these workflows.
  • Data from both Airtable and HubSpot is imported into Postgres for analysis, and we use Metabase to create dashboards that show the kinds of work we are doing, where we are doing the work, and other themes and trends.

Identify the need for new workflows, partner with other leaders to define the process, and then implement those workflows to support business needs. Examples include:

  • Document retention policy
  • Supporting different kinds of volunteer engagements natively in our volunteer tracking

Own tool selection, training, and implementation in support of those workflows

  • Handling requests for new tools, including vetting new tools
  • Managing the org budget for shared tools and reducing duplication of tools with similar features
  • Managing the rollout process for new workflows, including handling communication and change management

Strategy and Leadership

Translate organizational priorities into our overall technical strategy and architecture for how our tools support our business workflows

  • Defining the “block diagram” for which tools we use
  • Defining standards for how those tools fit together
  • Choosing when to introduce new components into our stack, and when to remove them to keep things simple
  • Effortlessly role model the values in our Volunteer Oath.

Support COO-led initiatives through activities such as:

  • Projects that depend on an in-depth knowledge of our tools and data (for example, sending a survey to our government partners to gather feedback)
  • Partner with key team members to improve security

Flexibility in approach is necessary–we don’t have a “typical” IT environment because of our unusual volunteer model. We need someone in this role who can understand how our model works, and the ways in which it may require a different IT approach

Key tools we use (non-exhaustive)

  • HubSpot
  • Airtable
  • JotForm
  • Zapier
  • AWS
  • GSuite
  • Slack
  • Postgres
  • Metabase

We are not looking to fill this role in a checklist fashion. Familiarity with all tools is not required. However, a willingness and ability to pick up and learn about new tools is necessary even for someone who is familiar with all the current tools as we are often evolving.

We're excited about you because you have/are...

  • Experience thinking strategically about the overall tool and workflow architecture for a fast-moving organization of 25-100 people and and an ability to balance tradeoffs between complexity and business value
    • Ability to set direction for the overall architecture of our tool stack
    • Experience partnering with both technical and non-technical stakeholders in turning business process problems into IT solutions
  • Minimum of 3 years in IT leadership roles, successfully managing and implementing complex projects that involve multiple stakeholders
  • Demonstrated ability to analyze existing manual processes, identify opportunities for automation, and implement sustainable automated systems that have reduced manual effort
  • Experience in quickly learning and simplifying complex sets of low/no code tools, such as Airtable and HubSpot, while adding coverage for new workflows as needed
  • Advanced skills in co-design and implementation of the technical components of workflows that have measurably improved organizational processes
  • Hands-on experience with database modeling and design within Airtable and HubSpot or similar platforms, with demonstrated success in managing complex data structures and relationships
  • Ability to balance manual and automated solutions, making choices that optimize for both the needs of the organization and the maintainability of our IT systems
  • Experience leading multiple significant workflow changes at organizations of 25-100, including the ability to lead changes that affect how large portions of the organization work by creating buy-in, setting direction, and then smoothly executing transitions
  • Ability to both clearly communicate and listen effectively and use both as tools to lead through influence
  • Strong problem-solving skills with a pragmatic approach, as demonstrated by examples of prioritizing practical solutions over perfectionism in complex situations
  • Great to have, but not requirements:
    • JavaScript programming experience - there are a number of scripts that power key workflows for USDR that are currently written in JavaScript.
    • Experience with finance/billing applications such as Divvy, Bill.com, QuickBooks
  • Or any combination of education, experience, and measurable performance that demonstrates the capability to perform the duties of the position.

Skills and experience are necessary, but we hire on value alignment first, so if you feel you would be a good fit with us, still consider applying.

What you’ll get:

  • A competitive salary, consistent with similar roles in other tech nonprofits in major U.S. metropolitan cities. The annual salary range for this role is $180,000 - 200,000 depending on experience.
  • Full health, dental and vision benefits (USDR pays 100% of the cost for our employees and 80% of the cost for their dependents).
  • 401K with a matching contribution of up to 3 percent of your pay with $1 for each dollar you contribute and for more than 3 percent and up to 5 percent of your pay with $0.50 for each dollar you contribute.
  • An equipment reimbursement for the purchase of a computer and peripheral devices of up to $2,000 along with a Work from Home allowance of $100 each month to support employees as they navigate working from home.
  • A discretionary budget of $500 per year per employee for learning and development along with an organization-wide L&D budget to support individuals and teams with work-related learning and development expenses
  • A supportive community where everyone can thrive and find a balance between working hard to make a difference and taking care of themselves. This means that we are committed to a fully remote work environment (for US-based employees) along with flexible schedules and time off policies that work with your life.

Equal Employment Opportunity

U.S. Digital Response is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer fully dedicated to achieving a diverse staff. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity and expression, and sexual orientation), disability status, protected veteran status, political party affiliation, or any other characteristic protected by law.

We encourage and welcome all interested potential applicants, regardless of background or prior experience volunteering with U.S. Digital Response, to apply.

All USDR staff members work remotely in support of flexibility, wellness, and work-life balance. At this time, USDR is only hiring candidates who reside in the United States, and who have and maintain active U.S. Work Authorization.