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Sterne Will Make 90-Day Report with Recommendations on Enhancing the City's Digital Operations, Communications and Public-Private Partnerships

The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) Commissioner Katherine Oliver announced the hiring of Rachel Sterne as the City’s first Chief Digital Officer, a role established by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Commissioner Oliver with the goal of improving communication with residents and businesses by enhancing government transparency and working closely with digital media. Sterne will work closely with the City’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications as well as with individual City agencies and stakeholders to ensure consistency and accessibility of information. This is the first time the City has hired someone to streamline digital media communications across a broad array of City agencies. Sterne is tasked with helping to make more user-friendly, ensuring that agencies integrate social media opportunities and serving as an advocate for the digital media industry in New York City.

New York City's first Chief Digital Officer, Rachel Sterne
 “We are so lucky to have Rachel Sterne join the team and help to lead the City’s Digital Coordination,” said Commissioner Katherine Oliver, Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. “Rachel is someone who has been an influencer in the social media sphere and a civic journalism entrepreneur. She will be a terrific advocate for digital media while at the same time helping to hone the City’s use of social media for years to come.”

“It’s vital that the City stay at the edge of innovation so we can meet tomorrow’s challenges today," said DoITT Commissioner Carole Post. “The new Chief Digital Officer’s efforts will be integral to further leveraging the vast potential of the City’s independent and entrepreneurial tech communities.”

“I’m thrilled by this opportunity to support New York City's digital innovations to come,” said Rachel Sterne, the City’s first Chief Digital Officer. “My goal in this role is to help the world’s greatest city become the world’s most innovative city through online and mobile technologies that help citizens and enhance the quality of services.”

Sterne will work on a 90-day report detailing the City’s online strategies. She will look at various ways in which the City can enhance its digital footprint, streamline its existing social media mechanisms and explore public-private partnerships that the City could implement in the digital realm. Her report will go to Commissioner Oliver and City Hall.

Sterne is the founder of GroundReport, a pioneering civic journalism portal that enables citizens to report news through firsthand articles, videos and photos. With over 7,000 global reporters, GroundReport was the first to report on stories ranging from the Beijing Olympics to Iranian elections. As Chief Executive Officer, for four years Sterne managed platform development, addressed scalability, integrated social media tools, developed editorial systems, managed budget, and negotiated partnerships with leaders including YouTube, The Huffington Post, and WNET. Sterne has spoken at over 100 conferences, universities and news outlets. In 2010, she was featured as one of Hewlett-Packard’s Top 15 Doers, a list which also included Thomas Friedman and James Cameron. In 2009 Sterne was named one of America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs by then BusinessWeek.

Sterne is also the founder of Upward Strategy, a digital media consulting company for startups, nonprofits and consumer brands. Upon taking up her responsibilities as Chief Digital Officer, Sterne has handed over leadership of GroundReport and Upward Strategy to other members of their staffs.

Prior to founding GroundReport and Upward Strategy, she worked as a business developer. More recently, she became an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School where she teaches a class in social media and entrepreneurship. Sterne also worked at the US Mission to the United Nations and in 2001 interned for then City Council Member Alan Gerson.