Matt Cutts to depart as USDS administrator

In his five years there, the government services modernization team grew to 180 people and is looking to scale again as he leaves.
Matt Cutts, USDS
Matt Cutts speaks April 5, 2018 at the IT Modernization Summit presented by FedScoop (FedScoop)

Matt Cutts announced he’s stepping down as U.S. Digital Service director in a Medium post on Wednesday.

Deputy Administrator Edward Hartwig will fill the role in an acting capacity until a new administrator is appointed.

The changing of the guard comes as USDS receives additional funding, pursues new agency partnerships and looks to hire — all as it scales its operation modernizing government services and making them more accessible.

“USDS was created to provide private sector technologists an opportunity to serve their government for a short period of time,” Cutts wrote in his post. “This year, in addition to those that joined the civil service permanently, we’ve seen an impressive number of alumni return to serve their government a second time.”


When Cutts joined in 2016, two years into USDS’s existence, he only intended to stay on three to six months.

Now the agency seeks engineers, designers, product managers, acquisition strategists, and policy experts to continue its work. That work includes supporting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the COVID-19 pandemic, streamlining financial relief, improving the immigration and refugee processes, aiding students with their loans, and reforming procurement and federal hiring.

USDS grew to a team of about 180 people and a network of 500 alumni under Cutts while becoming a farm system for federal chief information officers and chief technology officers.

“The team has created and deployed tools to help better fulfill the promises we’ve made to our veterans. We’ve digitized the naturalization process and reimagined hiring across the federal government,” Cutts wrote. “We began supporting states in building more responsive systems for the millions of Americans who rely on them.”

Dave Nyczepir

Written by Dave Nyczepir

Dave Nyczepir is a technology reporter for FedScoop. He was previously the news editor for Route Fifty and, before that, the education reporter for The Desert Sun newspaper in Palm Springs, California. He covered the 2012 campaign cycle as the staff writer for Campaigns & Elections magazine and Maryland’s 2012 legislative session as the politics reporter for Capital News Service at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he earned his master’s of journalism.

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