Exclusive: New York City To Name New Chief Digital Officer

Former New York City digital director Jessica Singleton is taking the reins of mayor Bill de Blasio’s NYC Digital as chief digital officer today, Fast Company has learned. The appointment will be confirmed by an official announcement from the mayor’s office today.

Jessica Singleton

Singleton, who was a member of President Barack Obama’s digital team during his 2012 campaign and served as digital director for Mayor de Blasio’s run for office, had been leading NYC Digital as digital director since January 2014, taking the lead on the all-encompassing tech resource base Digital.NYC (described as “a first-of-its-kind hub for New York City’s tech ecosystem”). Singleton’s new position is being touted as an “expansion” of her role as digital director.

When it launched in 2014, Mayor de Blasio described Digital.NYC as “a groundbreaking resource that will seamlessly connect members of the City’s tech hub to training, jobs, and funding and make our city’s digital economy accessible to all New Yorkers.”

Digital.NYC was formed to help New York City compete with Silicon Valley as a friendly home for startups, think tanks, and incubators. The idea of an East Coast/West Coast rivalry wasn’t exactly subtle either, as Digital.NYC’s site hosted a video produced by Forbes titled “NYC Startups vs. Silicon Valley.”

Singleton is also cofounder of the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network, a program designed to engage college students in politics in more active and digitally savvy ways. New York City’s first CDO was Rachel Haot, who was named to the role by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2011. In 2013, Haot left to serve as CDO for the state of New York under Governor Andrew Cuomo.