Rachel Haot (née Sterne) is an American businesswoman and entrepreneur. In January 2016, she joined 1776 as Managing Director. Haot was previously the Chief Digital Officer and Deputy Secretary for Technology of New York State for two years under Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. 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. She also founded GroundReport and Upward between 2006 and 2010.
Early life and education
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. Haot largely grew up in Dobbs Ferry, New York and graduated from Dobbs Ferry High School in 2001. She graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in history from New York University in 2005.
From 2006 to 2010, Haot was one of the founders of GroundReport, a global crowdsourced news startup. In 2008, Haot founded digital strategy consulting firm Upward, and in 2011 taught a six-week course on Social Media and Entrepreneurship at Columbia Business School as an adjunct professor. She has been named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and Chief Digital Officer of the Year in 2014 by the CDO Summit. She has been recognized as a "30 Under 30" leader by Fortune  and Forbes, and was honored at the City and State Above & Beyond Awards in 2015.
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, the position paid between $75,000-$125,000/year.
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.
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. Haot's team was also responsible for digital content production and social media engagement.
In March 2015, Haot appeared on NY1 to highlight the Governor's $500 million universal broadband program, which was later passed by the legislature. 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.
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.
Haot was born in Manhattan, and grew up in Park Slope, Brooklyn and Dobbs Ferry, New York. Rachel lives in Rockaway, Queens with her husband Max Haot, a Belgian-American who is the founder of Livestream, and their children.
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