Nancy Scola is a journalist whose work focuses on the intersections of tech and society, from newsletters to feature stories to panel discussions to podcasts and more.
She was until the winter of 2021 a senior technology reporter at POLITICO, and has also served as a staff writer at the Washington Post. She is a contributing editor at POLITICO Magazine. Her work as a magazine writer has appeared in publications like The Atlantic, New York, The American Prospect, and Washingtonian. She also serves as an adjunct professor in Georgetown University’s graduate journalism program.
In a past life, she worked in Congress, serving as a professional staff member on the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. She graduated from the George Washington University with a B.A. in anthropology and Africana studies, and from Boston University with M.A. in anthropology while a fellow in the school's African Studies Center.
A New Jersey native, she lives in a Washington D.C. neighborhood we’re calling Hill East.
Illustration by Michael Hoeweler for POLITICO Magazine
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.
Slow Build is a subscription newsletter on the impact that humans are having on technology, and vice versa.
Nancy has served as a senior technology reporter at Politico, 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.