Nancy Scola is a journalist, reporter, writer, moderator and more whose work has long focused on understanding and telling compelling stories about how ‘innovation’ — including but not limited to technology — shapes our rules, norms, and institutions, & vice versa.
Based in Washington D.C., she has served as a senior technology reporter at Politico, frequent contributor to Politico Magazine, and staff writer at the Washington Post. She often serves as a moderator on tech policy panels and often appears in the media to discuss tech topics. Her work as a magazine writer has appeared in The Atlantic, New York, The American Prospect, Washingtonian, and elsewhere.
Illustration by Michael Hoeweler for POLITICO Magazine
She has served as an adjunct professor in Georgetown University’s graduate journalism program, teaching master's degree students how to better understand, navigate, and shape the digital media environment. She began her career working on tech issues in Congress, serving as a professional staff member on the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and has worked as a tech policy advisor in presidential politics. She graduated from the George Washington University with a B.A. in anthropology and Africana studies, and from Boston University with an M.A. in anthropology. A New Jersey native, she lives in Washington D.C.’s Hill East neighborhood.
Nancy is a frequent moderator for panel events and one-on-on conversations on topics like artificial intelligence, digital politics, and the state of technology in Washington, in venues like SXSW, State of the Net, and the Democratic and Republican presidential conventions.
Nancy speaks often on state of tech on platforms like CNBC, C-SPAN, and PBS, and has a growing love of podcasting, appearing on POLITICO's Dispatch, Nerdcast, Global Translations, and Money podcasts, and beyond.
Nancy is in the early stages of writing a historical biography set in post-Civil War Washington D.C. Want to know more? Feel free to get in touch.
Nancy is currently a senior technology reporter at Politico, where she has been since 2015, focusing both on breaking news and longer-form pieces, like ones on presidential candidates’ personal relationships with technology, the fate of the Library of Congress, and the capital’s embrace of the publishing site Medium. Previously, she was staff writer on technology policy for The Washington Post, where she wrote about topics like the politics behind patents, the role of technologists in Washington, and the impact of ‘free data’ on the Internet. From to 2008 to 2011, she was a New York City-based associate editor at the since-retired site techPresident, where she covered subjects like the power of mobile phones in political activism, mapping, and Democrats’ digital ground game.
Nancy has, since 2007, also worked as a freelance writer and on-contract contributing writer. She’s written long-form work for Next City on the meaning of Uber, why the hotel chain Ace chose Pittsburgh as its first non-coastal expansion site, and Code for America. And during the 2012 election, she was a correspondent at The Atlantic, covering topics like the Republican approach to tech policy, campaign design, and the democratization of online organizing tools. She has been a contributing writer at The American Prospect, writing for the TAPPED blog and authoring longer-form pieces for the magazine, including a profile of open-government advocate Carl Malamud. Her work has also appeared in Washingtonian, New York Magazine, Columbia Journalism Review, SEED, and other publications.
FELLOWSHIPS, AND MORE
She has held several fellowships, including the Department of Education Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship at Boston University’s African Studies Center, a FLAS fellowship for the Summer Cooperative African Language Institute at Yale University to study Swahili, the Lewis N. Cotlow Fund field research grant awarded by the George Washington University for work in Kenya, the Poynter Fellowship in Journalism at Yale University, and the National Press Foundation’s “What’s Next in Artificial Intelligence” fellowship. Her university speaking appearances including Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Yale Law School, and the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics.
Her work as a journalist has taken her to China, Cuba, Chile, Mexico, Canada, Germany, and Spain.
Before going into journalism, Nancy worked on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in the U.S. House of Representatives and at Forward Together, a political action committee led by now-Senator Mark Warner of Virginia.
Earlier in her career, she was a researcher at the non-profit group Social Compact. She has a B.A. in anthropology from The George Washington University and an M.A. in anthropology from Boston University, where her thesis looked at the lasting effects of slavery on the East African coast.