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Upcoming role

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PIF - Presidential Innovation Fellow

Presidential Innovation Fellows will soon be accepting applications for a GS-15 PIF - Presidential Innovation Fellow. The target date for when this position will be officially open to application has not yet been determined. If you’d like to be notified when this position is open, sign up to our mailing list.

Basic Information

Location: Washington, DC

Salary Range: Base salary GS-15 - $ to $

If you are a new federal employee, your starting salary will likely be set at the Step 1 of the grade for which you are selected. Total compensation may include locality pay based on the individual’s duty location. For more salary information including locality pay details, please visit OPM’s Salaries & Wages page.

Who May Apply: All United States citizens and nationals (residents of American Samoa and Swains Islands) and applicants must not be GSA employees or contractors

Role Summary:

PIF - Presidential Innovation Fellow - GS-15

The Presidential Innovation Fellows (PIF) is a highly-competitive program that pairs mid-to-senior level entrepreneurs, technologists, designers and data scientists with top civil-servants and change-makers working within the federal government to tackle some of our nation’s biggest challenges and deliver better solutions to U.S. citizens. Fellows are embedded within agencies as entrepreneurs-in-residence for 12-24 month engagements working on mission critical problems, shaping smarter policy and/or delivering on technology.

Since the program was launched in 2012 by former U.S. CTO Todd Park, 135 Fellows have worked with over 35 agencies. These Fellows have included the Lead Developer on Google Maps, Former CEO of Symantec and Co-Founder of the Earth Genome Project. Past fellows’ projects have focused on improving care and access to benefits for our veterans, re-imagining cancer clinical trials to increase awareness and access for patients, defining an ecosystem to help the private sector manage risk and mitigate threats, and creating a central digital location to share and improve outcomes for children within the foster care system.

We will begin recruiting the next cohort of Fellows in mid-April. Applicants can apply online at and Fellows will start the summer of 2019.

The characteristics that we look for in Fellows, include:

Entrepreneurship and Initiative:

  • Expert in a hard skill such as modern product management, software development, lean startup, strategy consulting, analysis, strategic design, experience design, human centered design, data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning, cybersecurity, etc.
  • Self-starter- either an entrepreneur or intrapreneur with experience starting and building initiatives
  • Ability to engage business problems, understand and design effective solutions and strategies that draw on current and emergent tools, technologies, initiatives and other resources
  • Experience delivering products or services from concept to market

Approach and Methodology:

  • Expertise applying frameworks that emphasize delivery, iteration, quantitative/qualitative learnings and responsiveness
  • Expertise determining user needs, identifying market opportunities and designing and deploying solutions
  • Ability to apply forward thinking design and development principles to product development and project management such as lean start-up, user centered design and agile
  • Ability to describe esoteric and highly technical solutions to non-technical stakeholders

Empathy and Emotional Intelligence:

  • High degree of emotional intelligence. A quick study, who intuitively knows what needs to get done to deliver with integrity
  • Experience in client-facing roles, navigating bureaucracy, business development and delivering services with a strong user-facing or consumer-oriented element
  • Coalition builder with the ability to persuade and convince others to think about solutions in new and creative ways. Ability to know when you need to show and when you need to tell
  • Tenacity to push forward over difficult obstacles
  • Evidence navigating large, complex organizations and stakeholders
  • Demonstrates patience and leads with humility


  • At least 10 years of professional experience working in your area
  • Demonstrated experience leading stakeholders through change where you don’t have explicit authority
  • Ability to be a thought leader and contribute best practices in a variety of technologies and principles
  • Teamwork - ability to lead teams and work effective with others within a team
  • Interested in building a culture within the Fellowship and taking a genuine interest in other Fellows’ work, including providing feedback and collaborating when appropriate

Key Objectives

Objective #1: You will assess the state of digital services provided by the Federal Government, and work to align strategies and practice; conferring with key government/private officials and top experts in the field.

  • You will analyze and scope the technical and policy requirements needed to implement complex digital solutions.
  • You will leverage your experience deploying high-quality, user centric platforms and services to lead major initiatives.
  • You will apply forward thinking design and development principles to product development and project management such as lean start-up, user centered design and agile.

Objective #2: You will conceive/recommend projects/strategies to advance the state of the art in the specialty area.

  • You will consult on systems and policy proposals, and provide technical policy and programmatic guidance to the government.
  • You will demonstrate thought leadership, contributing best practices in a variety of technologies and principles.
  • You will translate business problems into technology solutions that draw on current and emergent tools and technologies.

Objective #3: You will utilize an entrepreneurial mindset, technology acumen, and strong communication skills in order to drive projects from ideation to completion.

  • You have the ability to present sensitive recommendations to higher authority and to articulate positions/policy of vast technical complexity.
  • You possess knowledge of and expertise in driving and implementing technology solutions from concept to market that overcome significant challenges resulting from complex bureaucratic environments or technically difficult problems.
  • You have a high degree of emotional intelligence, are a quick study, and intuitively know what needs to get done to deliver with integrity, ensuring compliance at all levels.

Minimum Qualifications

The information in this sections outlines the criteria that your application will be evaluated against to determine if you meet the Minimum Qualifications for the position. There are two very important things to note about this step in the process:

  • Only applications found “minimally qualified” are shared with the hiring manager and are the only candidates eligible to be interviewed
  • The Minimum Qualification determination can only be made using the information that’s directly within your resume and directly associated your listed work experience.
    • Examples of stuff that can’t be used:
      • Links to portfolios or other external materials (Yes, the links themselves may be “directly” on the resume but the information is not).
      • Information you include in cover letters, responses to questions, etc. as these are not directly associated with your work experience
      • Lists of tools, technologies, programming languages, etc. that are listed separately from your work experience

The Minimum Qualification process is a bureaucratic requirement that we are stuck with. It’s best to think about it as the most intense and rigorous resume review you’ve ever heard of. To get through this process you need make sure your resume directly reflects the qualifications listed below. We also have more guidance on creating a federal style resume on Join TTS Hiring Process

Specialized Experience

To qualify for this role, you must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-14 in the Federal service. Specialized experience is:

  1. Experience navigating highly ambiguous or uncertain situations to deliver results. This experience must include ALL of the following:
    • Navigating bureaucracy (e.g. complex organization structure, matrix organization), building coalitions and leading stakeholders with disparate views through change
    • Working in a team-oriented environment and collaborating within teams
    • Working as an entrepreneur (i.e started and grown companies or organizations) measured in increased revenue, clients or users; OR intrapreneur (i.e. starting and/or leading initiatives within corporate, academic or non-profit institutions) measured by increased revenue, promoted growth, drove business strategy, acquired clients or customers/end users
  2. Experience applying technology innovation craft to the design and development of products and services. This experience must include ONE of the following:
  • Developing digital applications across the full stack (i.e. server side, client side & databases) using server-side languages (e.g Java, .NET, Ruby on Rails, Python, Go, Node.js), client-side languages (e.g HTML, CSS, Javascript) and database and other persistence layers (e.g. PostgreSQL, mySQL, Oracle, noSQL, MongoDB)
  • Advising organizations on developing and delivering digital products or services, contributing to the development or the evolution of the organization’s technical strategy, and leading technical teams (i.e. providing mentorship, reviewing code and overall architecture and making technical recommendations)
  • Leading cross-functional teams (e.g. product leads, developers, content designers, and other UX designers) in the research (i.e. planning, conducting, analyzing, translating & sharing user research) and design (e.g. developing wireframes, site maps, journey maps, process flows and prototypes,) of digital products or services using User Experience principles & practices (e.g. User Centered Design, Human Centered Design, Design Thinking)
  • Driving the success of a product by leading the product vision, developing the product roadmap, utilizing innovation methodologies (e.g. Lean Startup, Agile, User Centered Design, Human Centered Design, UX Design, Experience Design) and leading cross functional teams (e.g.developers, content designers, UX designers, strategist) to design, develop, and deliver digital products or services
  • Functioning in an analytical capacity and executing or contributing to investment deals in an investment bank and/or venture capital firm (including corporate venture capital)
  • Experience functioning in an organizational leadership capacity as a data scientist, statistician (using predictive analytics) or working in an organizational leadership capacity in the field of in the field of artificial intelligence/machine learning which can include: utilizing tools, algorithms or mathematical/statistical modeling techniques to positively impact business outcomes

Qualification determinations cannot be made when resumes do not include the required information, so failure to provide this information may result in disqualification.

For each job on your resume, provide:

  • the exact dates you held each job (from month/year to month/year or “present”)
  • number of hours per week you worked (if part time)

How To Apply

If you would like to learn more or if you’d like to be notified when the application is open, please sign up join our mailing list.