Federal IT leaders have selected an inaugural class of 40 U.S. Digital Corps fellows who are set to start work later this month.
The first crop of early-career technologists will begin work on projects at 13 agencies focused on addressing key priorities of the Biden administration, which include improving healthcare and equity.
The launch of the new two-year fellowship was announced last summer, with the intention of bringing early-career software engineers, data scientists and other technologists to federal service.
It is housed within the Technology Transformation Services at the General Services Administration, which has partnered with the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Personnel Management, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and Office of Science and Technology Policy to run the program.
The new fellows will support a range of projects focused on healthcare and equity including a revamp of technology systems at the Administration for Families and Children, innovating to build a more inclusive economy at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and assisting with implementation of the President’s cybersecurity executive order at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
Commenting on the inaugural fellows, OMB Associate Director Performance and Personnel Management Pam Coleman said: “Launching the inaugural cohort of the U.S. Digital Corps is an important step towards delivering on a key pillar of the President’s Management Agenda — strengthening and empowering the federal workforce.”
“The Digital Corps has selected more than 40 talented early-career technologists to serve as fellows across federal agencies, where they will help address key challenges the government faces in both the near and long term,” she added.
The fellowship was first proposed by the Day One Project in December 2020 as a way to eventually recruit thousands of recent graduates across technical fields, in what could become the Biden-Harris version of President John F. Kennedy’s Peace Corps or President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps, said Nick Sinai, former federal deputy chief technology officer under President Obama.
Recruits for the program come from both leading undergraduate programs and alternative training pathways like apprenticeships, bootcamps and certificate programs to make the cohort as diverse as possible.