Emily joined mySociety in 2018 to help us organise and deliver our Democracy projects, both in the UK and with our partners internationally.
She comes to us after a typically eclectic career, touching on many of mySociety’s areas of interest:
“My career in public/non-profit sector projects began when I co-founded Conductive Music, a UK-based community interest company that teaches electronic engineering, open-source coding, and sound engineering to thousands of children and young people from challenging backgrounds, like asylum seekers, former gang members, or those with special educational needs. I’m still on the Board and spend many of my weekends on this.
“Most recently, I spent a couple of years in the UK civil service as a Senior Delivery Manager at the Government Digital Service (GDS) in the Cabinet Office. At GDS, I worked with tech development teams to improve key national platforms like Verify & GOV.UK, with service design teams to create the new Government Service Standard, and with digital infrastructure teams to found and build up a new central Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) function for government.”
OK, so that covers coding, open source, non-profits, and govtech… yep, a lot of ticked boxes for us here at mySociety.
Emily’s lived in the UK for eight years, with a year out in The Hague, Netherlands. Originally from the US, she grew up in a military family, moving every couple of years. And she’s no slouch in the academic department, with university degrees in emergency medicine, music composition, music history & anthropology.
“While studying, I spent three years working nights as a paramedic in Washington, DC. My MA was in historical ethnomusicology and my PhD was in algorithmic music, anthropology of tech, and the concept of networks.
“While in the early part of my MA, I discovered a previously unknown manuscript by a famous French Renaissance composer, and won some awards for my academic writing about that. I’ve also done a traditional apprenticeship in historical instrument making & repair and worked as a journeyman luthier for several years. Some of my instruments are in use at the Smithsonian, Library of Congress, and Washington National Opera”.
Whew! The rest of us are feeling like slack under-achievers — though Emily says she’s settled down somewhat. These days, she can often be found walking the countryside with her rescue greyhounds, messing with a cake recipe, doing various traditional & modern crafts by the fireside, and reading science fiction/fantasy.
Well, that’s when she’s not revolutionising our Democracy work.