Web guru Dorris brings new life to government websites

Martha Dorris played a key role in a slew of Web platforms that are helping citizens to better connect with government services. For that work, she has been nam...

Martha Dorris, the deputy associate administrator for citizen services at the General Services Administration, has excelled in overseeing the development of online services for the public.

At GSA, she created a brand and fostered a following for the agency’s two federal Web platforms — USA.gov and its Spanish-language counterpart, GobiernoUSA.gov. In fiscal 2012 alone, 50 million visitors clicked on those two websites.

Martha Dorris, deputy associate administrator, Office of Citizen Services, GSA
Dorris has also overseen the creation of two other federal Web resources — Challenge.gov and USASearch.gov — and she played a key role in migrating government information channels to the cloud.

“Martha is helping citizens connect directly with the services they need,” said Dan Tangherlini, GSA’s acting administrator. “When they write the history of that change, she will be one of the founding people.”

For her work, the Partnership for Public Service named Dorris a finalist for a 2013 Service to America Medal in the Citizen Services category. This award honors a public servant who has made a significant contribution in the field of citizen services, such as economic development, housing, labor, health care and transportation.

Dorris was recently interviewed on the Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Emily Kopp. She also answered the following questions about herself and her career in the federal government.

What three words best describe your leadership philosophy?
Strategic, inclusive and fair

What’s the best pieces of advice (or words of wisdom) you’ve ever received and who gave it to you?
Treat people the way you want to be treated. Don’t be afraid to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you are.

Who is your biggest role model and why?
My parents, who taught me the greatest lessons in life — honesty, that working hard never hurt anyone (anything worth having is worth working for), whatever you do you should give it your best (not 100 percent or 110 percent but 150 percent all the time) and you should work for what you get, and don’t expect anyone to give you anything.

What’s the last thing you read and what’s next on your reading list?
Last book – “Outside In: The Power of Putting Customers at the Center of Your Business.” Next book – “Customer Power: How to Grow Sales and Profits in a Customer-Driven Marketplace.”

The Citizen Services Medal is just one of the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals (Sammies) presented annually by the Partnership for Public Service. View a gallery of all the Sammies nominees here.

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