NEW YORK—Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed the city's first ever chief digital officer on Monday. Rachel Sterne, 27, will be responsible for streamlining digital communications across city agencies, as well as helping foster the digital industry in the city.
“[I'm] Excited to share my new role with the city of New York. [And I] Look forward to hearing your thoughts on how we can improve digital resources and serve citizens!” reads a post on Sterne’s Facebook page.
Sterne is tasked with making NYC.gov more user-friendly and facilitate better communication between the city and New Yorkers. The mayor promised in his State of the City address to take in more citizen feedback—crowd sourcing—to better cater to the needs of residents. He is following the example of Facebook and other social media that use crowd-sourcing to meet customer needs.
Sterne has lots of experience in the field. She founded GroundReport, a civic journalism portal that allows citizens to report news themselves. She also founded Upward Strategy, a digital media consulting company. In 2009, Business Week named Sterne one of America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs.
Sterne's first task will be to make a 90-day report of how to enhance the city's digital operations, communications, and public-private partnerships.