New York appoints state’s first chief customer experience officer

Tonya Webster, who's held roles at NBCUniversal and Blue Cross Blue Shield, was named New York's chief customer experience officer.
Tonya Webster
Tonya Webster, New York state's chief customer experience officer, poses for a photo. (Nick Nelson)

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Tuesday the appointment of Tonya Webster to serve as the state’s first chief customer experience officer.

The creation of the new position was announced in Hochul’s 2023 State of the State address in January. Webster, who is the first governor-appointed chief customer experience officer in the country, is tasked with working with state agencies to ensure that the experience of residents is prioritized when designing services, a news release said.

Dru Rai, New York’s chief information officer, said the Office of Information Technology will work with Webster to “design more user-friendly, accessible and streamlined processes, standards and digital platforms.” She will report to Kathryn Garcia, the state’s director of state operations and infrastructure.

Webster is also tasked with developing a statewide customer experience strategy, collaborating with agency leaders to identify process improvements, expanding the state’s capacity for human-centered design via new hires and ensuring that customer experience principles are included in the state’s technology planning documents.


Webster spent more than 20 years in the private sector leading customer experience transformation projects, according to the state. Most recently, she served as senior vice president of service for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts after serving as the health plan’s chief experience officer. She also served as vice president of customer experience at Comcast NBCUniversal.

“It is an honor and privilege to serve as New York State’s first Chief Customer Experience Officer, and I am eager to use my skillset to help make this government even more responsive to residents and their families,” Webster said in the news release. “Governor Hochul has rightly made improving the customer experience a priority in New York, and I know that by working together we can remove obstacles and create interactions with government agencies that are fast, simple and more efficient for all.”

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