Rachel Sterne Becomes First NYC Chief Digital Officer

It’s official: New York City now has a Chief Digital Officer. Her name is Rachel Sterne and she’s a veteran entrepreneur. Described as “several years shy of 30,” Sterne is certainly no greenhorn in entrepreneurship and tech. Prior to her ascension to office Ms. Sterne founded the news site Ground Report and ran her own consulting firm Upward Strategy.

Of course most are tempted to assume that her job will involve making a connection with the scores of startups around the city. This is partially true, because Ms. Sterne has a whole lot of other responsibilities on her shoulders besides becoming City Hall’s conduit to the startup scene.

Ms. Sterne’s most pressing task at the moment is to transform the city government’s official site into a more user-friendly portal. This is the first step in the broader task of incorporating social media tools into various municipal agencies.

The appointment of a CDO couldn’t come at a better time when most of the startup scene feels distant from the city government. The fact that an entrepreneur has snagged the job may indicate Mayor Bloomberg’s earnest bid to link arms with the local tech community.

Here’s Ms. Sterne in her own words: “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.”