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18F Frontwoman Hillary Hartley Pulls Plug on Term Early

Hillary Hartley is reportedly the third senior official to leave the GSA’s disruptive internal startup, 18F, in recent months. According to an internal email, she has accepted a position in Canada.

After more than three years with former President Barack Obama’s disruptive federal startup 18F, Deputy Executive Director Hillary Hartley is set to leave her post nearly a month ahead of her term’s expiration. 

The departure, originally reported by Federal News Radio (FNR) March 13, makes Hartley the third senior official to leave the government innovation lab in recent months. In an email obtained by the FNR, Hartley said that her last day would be April 7.

“This has been the best job I’ve ever had, with the best group of people I’ve ever known,” Hartley said in the email cited by the news outlet. “Four years ago, we had dreams that felt noble, but kind of impossible, and it is only because of you (and our amazing #alumni) that is now a reality.”

In March 2016, Hartley told Government Technology that 18F would likely survive the transition to new administration because of the way the organization operates as a business, rather than a typical federal agency. 

Under Hartley’s direction, 18F was able to deploy solutions directly to state and local partners, as well as streamlining some of the federal procurement procedures.

The technologist also went on to explain in her email to staff that she and her family would be moving to Toronto, where she accepted a leadership role with the Canadian province of Ontario. Before taking a spot as part of 18F’s leadership team, Hartley served as a Presidential Innovation Fellow.

While the current administration did not appear to be an overt driver for the change, Hartley has taken to Twitter on a number of occasions to criticize Donald Trump’s policies.

A HIRING FREEZE? That's what you think will drain the swamp? A "bloated" civilian workforce is not the damn problem. — Hillary Hartley (@hillary) March 1, 2017
According to the FNR report, Hartley also acknowledged turnover within the organization and the stress it had caused, but said the leadership was working with the current administration to impress the group’s “long-term value.” 

Eyragon Eidam is the Web editor for Government Technology magazine, after previously serving as assistant news editor and covering such topics as legislation, social media and public safety. He can be reached at