Rachel Haot

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Rachel Haot
TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2016 - Day 2 (26906867406).jpg
Rachel Haot speaking at a conference in 2016
New York, New York
Other namesRachel Sterne
Alma materNew York University
OccupationEntrepreneur, government
Known forGroundReport, City of New York
Spouse(s)Max Haot (married 2012–present)

Rachel Haot (née Sterne) is an American businesswoman and entrepreneur. She is currently Executive Director of the Transit Innovation Partnership[1], a public-private initiative of the Partnership for NYC and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority[2]. From 2016-2017[3] she was Managing Director at 1776.[4] Haot was previously the Chief Digital Officer and Deputy Secretary for Technology of New York State for two years under Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.[5] Prior to this role, Rachel served as Chief Digital Officer for the City of New York for three years, from January 2011 to December 2013.[6][7] She also founded GroundReport and Upward between 2006 and 2010.[8]

Early life and education[edit]

Haot was born in 1983 in Manhattan to parents Paul Sterne, a former IBM managing director, and Anna Sterne, the director of patient services at a nonprofit healthcare organization.[9][10] Haot largely grew up in grew up in Park Slope, Brooklyn[11] and Dobbs Ferry, New York[10][12]. She graduated from Dobbs Ferry High School in 2001.[13] She graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in history from New York University in 2005.[9][10][14]


From 2006 to 2010, Haot was one of the founders of GroundReport, a global crowdsourced news startup.[15] In 2008, Haot founded digital strategy consulting firm Upward, and in 2011 taught a six-week[16] course on Social Media and Entrepreneurship at Columbia Business School[17] as an adjunct professor. She has been named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum,[18] and Chief Digital Officer of the Year in 2014 by the CDO Summit.[19] She has been recognized as a "30 Under 30" leader by Fortune [20] and Forbes,[21] and was honored at the City and State Above & Beyond Awards in 2015.[22]

In 2011, Katherine Oliver (Commissioner of The New York City Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting) named Haot to the post of Chief Digital Officer.[23]

Haot's office hosted the Reinvent Payphones Design Challenge, a competition to promote the re-purposing of New York City’s public pay telephones for the digital age, which garnered over 100 submissions from design firms and universities and was the precursor to LinkNYC.[24][25]. Haot led the relaunch of official City of New York website [1][26], integrating city services, realtime data, cloud-based scalability and responsive design. Haot also oversaw policy and strategy for the launch of New City's top-level domain, .nyc[27].

As Chief Digital Officer for New York State, Haot was responsible for digital products, programs and policy. Haot led the relaunch of State website ny.gov in November 2014, overhauling design and architecture. The well-received update was the first major change in over 15 years, and emphasizes customer service, mobile access and location-based resources.[28] Haot's team was also responsible for digital content production and social media engagement.[29]

In March 2015, Haot appeared on NY1 to highlight the Governor's $500 million universal broadband program, which was later passed by the legislature.[30] On the first anniversary of the NY.gov relaunch, New York State announced record breaking digital growth, including quadrupled pageviews and doubled users, a year after the design and technology overhaul.[31]

In January 2016, Haot announced that she was resigning from the State to join global incubator and seed fund 1776 (company) as Managing Director, applying her experience to help startups navigate government and bringing together policymakers, entrepreneurs, institutions and investors to support economic growth.[32]

Personal life[edit]

Haot lives in Rockaway, Queens with her husband Max Haot, a Belgian-American who is the founder of Livestream and founder and CEO of aerospace startup Launcher[33], and their children.[9]


  1. ^ "MTA Genius Transit Challenge winners announced - Railway Age". railwayage.com. 9 March 2018. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  2. ^ "Here are some genius ideas to fix the subway system". nydailynews.com. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  3. ^ https://statescoop.com/after-new-york-expansion-rachel-haot-exits-1776-startup-accelerator
  4. ^ "New York's Chief Digital Officer Rachel Haot Joins Global Incubator 1776". fastcompany.com. 7 January 2016. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  5. ^ Kaplan, Thomas (18 December 2013). "Cuomo Hires New York City's Chief Digital Officer". The New York Times.
  6. ^ "About NYC Digital". Office of Media and Entertainment, NY City. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  7. ^ Paybarah, Azi (January 25, 2011). "The Woman Upgrading Bloomberg's Government: Rachel Sterne". WNYC. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  8. ^ Pozin, Ilya (13 November 2014). "20 Entrepreneurs Shaking Up New York's Tech Scene". Forbes. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
  9. ^ a b c "Rachel Sterne and Maxime Haot". The New York Times. 22 July 2012. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  10. ^ a b c "Women 3.0: Rachel Haot". Gadchick. 12 December 2012. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  11. ^ Green, Adam; Sebastian Kim (October 25, 2011). "Tech Savvy: Rachel Sterne". Vogue. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  12. ^ Dube, Ilene (2013). "Rachel Haot: Making a Better World with Technology". Urban Agenda Magazine. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  13. ^ Bert, Alison (20 June 2011). "Dobbs Ferry's Class of 'Spirit and Service'". Patch. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  14. ^ "Speakers". The Guardian. 2 February 2011. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  15. ^ "Rachel Haot". Open Government Partnership. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  16. ^ "Syllabus for Social Media and Entrepreneurship, Columbia Business School". socialstartup.tumblr.com. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
  17. ^ School, Columbia Business (2013-03-18). "Social Media and Entrepreneurship". Courses at Columbia Business School. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
  18. ^ "List of 2012 Young Global Leaders Honourees" (PDF). World Economic Forum. July 20, 2012. p. 11. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  19. ^ Mathison, David (6 May 2014). "Rachel S. Haot Chief Digital Officer at New York State named CDO of the Year 2014 by CDO Club [VIDEO] - CDO Club". cdoclub.com. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  20. ^ Roberts, Daniel (19 September 2013). "40 under 40". Fortune. Fortune. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
  21. ^ Howard, Caroline; Michael Noer (December 17, 2012). "Rachel Haot - 30 Under 30: Law & Policy- Forbes". Forbes Magazine. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  22. ^ http://www.cityandstateny.com/2/city-and-state-announces-above-and-beyond-winners.html#.VV9W20_BwXA
  23. ^ "The city gets a chief digital officer: Rachel Sterne". POLITICO Media. Retrieved 2016-06-15.
  24. ^ "Mayor Bloomberg, Chief Information & Innovation Officer Merchant and Chief Digital Officer Haot Launch Reinvent". IndyMetro. December 5, 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  26. ^ Berkman, Fran. "NYC.gov Overhaul Fuses High-Tech and Helvetica". mashable.com. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  27. ^ ".NYC Top-Level Domains Approved: Here's What You Need to Know". statetechmagazine.com. 3 July 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  28. ^ Wilson, Colleen (13 November 2014). "New York State Website Gets a Reboot". Retrieved 25 March 2018 – via www.wsj.com.
  29. ^ "Inside NY.gov's First Redesign In 15 Years". fastcompany.com. 13 November 2014. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  30. ^ http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/inside-city-hall/2015/03/18/ny1-online--state-official-talks-governor-s-proposal-to-expand-broadband-to-underserved-areas.html
  31. ^ "This Week in Civic Tech: Boston Rethinks City Hall, NY.gov Redesign Doubles Traffic, GovDelivery Hits 100M Subscribers". www.govtech.com. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  32. ^ Flamm, Matthew. "New York state digital czar jumps to venture fund". crainsnewyork.com. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  33. ^ https://pix11.com/2018/07/24/entrepreneur-launches-10-year-mission-to-build-commercial-rocket-on-long-island/