Nancy Scola is a Washington D.C.-based writer and journalist whose work often focuses on technology and the people behind it.
Since 2015 she has been at Politico, where she is currently a senior technology reporter. She has served as an adjunct lecturer in Georgetown’s graduate journalism program. Before coming to journalism, Nancy worked in the U.S. House of Representatives and, briefly, in presidential politics. New Jersey born and raised, she studied anthropology at both The George Washington University (B.A.) and Boston University (M.A.) and now lives in D.C.'s greater Capitol Hill neighborhood.
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 online, 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.
APPEARANCES, FELLOWSHIPS, AND MORE
Nancy often serves as a moderator on panel discussions and occasionally appears on TV and radio, including C-SPAN. She has held several fellowships, including the Department of Education Foreign Language Area Studies fellowship at Boston University’s African Studies center, 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 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.
Illustration by Michael Hoeweler for POLITICO Magazine