The Mayor’s office announced today the hiring of the city’s first CDO– Chief Digital Officer.
The Mayor’s office of Media and Entertainment tasked Rachel Sterne with streamlining the administration’s digital footprint in order to establish more partnerships with private institutions through social media.
“It’s vital that the City stay at the edge of innovation so we can meet tomorrow’s challenges today,” said Carole Post, Commissioner of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications. “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.”
According to the press release, Sterne will begin her work by compiling a comprehensive report that examines the existing state of the administration’s social media usage. A part of her job will be to explore “public-private partnerships that the City could implement in the digital realm.”
When asked to explain these partnerships, Todd Asher, deputy commissioner from the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, explained that the administration will be the one extending the hand to businesses.
“We will be reaching out to NY-based businesses to introduce Rachel and solicit support,” Asher said. “The partnerships the city are seeking to establish fall under two categories- those that fill exisiting needs like developing website, apps and other utilities for giving people access to information and aiding in the transparency of government and those things that offer value about a baseline requirement.”
Sterne has extensive background in social media, having founded a blog built on citizen journalism and a digital media consulting company. She also teaches a class in social media and entrepreneurship at Columbia University Business School.
The Mayor has been known to use technology and social media to his advantage, and some of his recent moves have pushed for residents to use the tools to help the city. In his recent State of the City speech, Bloomberg announced the creation of an online crowd sourcing tool- Simplicity– that will allow New Yorkers to post ideas that will help save the city money.
“Simplicity is about transforming all of City government by modernizing it making it smarter, more efficient, and oriented around customers,” Bloomberg said in the speech.
“This kind of open call for ideas – or ‘crowdsourcing,’ as it’s called – has helped cutting-edge companies like Facebook and Netflix improve services and save money. And with more than 8.4 million people in our crowd, imagine what we can come up with.”
Simplicity comes as a more mainstream version of the online suggestion box originally posted on the city’s website in October.