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Featured on Feb 28, 2013

Rachel Sterne Haot

"'Make every day count' - from the countdown clocks of the Bloomberg Administration. Today is 307 Days."


Rachel Haot is the Chief Digital Officer for the City of New York, leading NYC Digital, part of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. The mission of NYC digital is to realize Mayor Bloomberg's digital roadmap for New York City, a plan to fulfill the City's digital potential. Prior to this role, Rachel was an independent digital strategy consultant, and Founder and CEO of GroundReport, a global, crowdsourced news startup. She has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School, specializing in social media and entrepreneurship.

A lifelong New Yorker, Rachel attended public schools and graduated magna cum laude from New York University with a BA in History. In 2012 she was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and serves on the digital advisory board of Women@NBCU and the NY/NJ 2013 Super Bowl Hosting Committee.

  • Title: Chief Digital Officer, City of New York
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Williamsburg
  • Contact: @rachelhaot

How does the new We Are Made in NY initiative fit in with the other resources available to help and promote tech startups in NYC?

We Are Made in NY is an initiative supporting tech growth in NYC that brings together a very wide array of resources and programs - and makes it easy for anyone to get more involved in tech.  Programs range from coding classes to seed funding, fiber build outs to affordable workspace, plus ways to recruit and ways to find your next job. It creates a one-stop shop for discovering a broad range of programs supporting innovation launched by Mayor Bloomberg's administration.  The launch also marked the expansion of the Made in NY symbol to digital companies for the first time. It has been enormously successful in the film and TV industry, and by expanding it to the tech sector we recognize how these sectors are evolving - and celebrate the over 900 companies that base 75% of their development here.

Young companies are always looking for ways to get their name out there. How doesNYC Digital decide which companies to feature or mention on its various sites and what can a recently founded company do to get on your radar?

To spread the word about We Are Made in NY, we thought that New York City's innovators would be the best ambassadors. We selected sixcompanies that represent a wide range of products, founder backgrounds and office locations.  But those are just six of the more than 900 Made in NY companies in NY. As a digital initiative, we invite all Made in NY companies to participate in the campaign, whether by creating  a short video or tweeting and tumbling with hashtag #madeinny. And any company can apply to be added to the Made in NY list and map. Of course we are constantly meeting with startups to learn about how we can support them - and companies are always welcome to reach out at

If you were to start a tech company today, what would it be? Is there a specific industry you find interesting or you think could use more innovation?

There are so many areas where it is possible to make a significant impact.  Innovations in education, energy, and collaborative consumption are three areas of great promise and potential impact.

You were born in New York, you live here and most importantly, you're the mayor of 3 NYC Foursquare locations. What has kept you in this city?

It is the perfect city because it's always changing, and to me it is always challenging me and surprising me, even though I have been here most of my life. It is also a city that is incredibly versatile - there are infinite ways to experience New York City, so it grows with you, and you are always learning. Above all, it manages to attract and engage the most incredible people in the world - and that is what truly makes New York City great.

Chief Digital Officer, Digital Strategist