About Kelly O’Connor
Kelly O’Connor is passionate about helping government deliver better products to users. Kelly joined the U.S. Digital Service (USDS) in 2015 and manages one of their largest products: Vets.gov. Prior to USDS, Kelly was a founding member of Deloitte’s Federal Practice in 2002.
Kelly teaches part-time in Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies and has been an active volunteer with the Buffalo Veterans Treatment Court since 2009, which was the first Veterans treatment court in the country.
My story is about my younger sister who lived a middle-class suburban life, and died earlier this year of opioid addiction–and the denial and lack of communication that prevented our family from surviving this awful epidemic. My call to action is both at a family level and a community level; it’s for people is to start talking about this and take action right away when we suspect people we love are at risk of opioid addiction–if we did, my sister might still be alive. Our family was close and supported Jenny, but in the end we probably just enabled her. I’m sure there are many other families like ours struggling with this.