Nancy Scola is a New York City-based writer. Since 2008, she has served as associate editor at the Personal Democracy Forum's techPresident, an award-winning publication that examines the intersection of technology and politics, with a focus on democratic participation, political organizing, governing, and creating social change. In this role, she breaks news, interviews people working in the field, and provides continuous coverage and analysis. In 2007, Scola co-directed the Personal Democracy Forum unConference, and in 2008 presidential cycle she co-led (Twitter) Vote Report, a project that brought together independent developers, established election protection organizations, and news organizations like NPR to conduct distributed reporting around the practice of democracy.
Scola's work as a writer has also appeared in publications including the American Prospect, Seed Magazine, Politics Magazine, Columbia Journalism Review, the Center for American Progress's Science Progress, and AlterNet. (Some samples of her work are available here.) Her commentary has appeared on the BBC, CNN.com Live, Air America Radio, Brian Lehrer Live, and elsewhere. She fairly regularly appears on conference panels.
Before joining Personal Democracy Forum, Scola served as a policy aide and outreach coordinator for now-Senator Mark Warner of Virginia as he explored a bid in the 2008 U.S. presidential race. In that capacity, she covered Warner's tech and innovation policy portfolio while coordinating relationships with those in the technology world. Scola briefly served as chief online editor for Air America Media. From 2001 to 3005, she worked in the United States House of Representatives on the Committee on Government Reform under the direction of Rep. Henry Waxman of California. Scola began her career in Washington working as a research designer at Social Compact, a non-profit organization that maps and analyzes urban domestic neighborhoods to demonstrate opportunities for business investment.
Among other things, Nancy has worked with the AFL-CIO, served on the Drum Major Institute's netroots advisory board, been a blogger on the political blog MyDD, spent a summer studying Swahili at Yale University, taught English as a second language in Kenya, and taught a seminar at New York University.
Scola holds a B.A. in anthropology from George Washington University, with a minor in Africana studies. She also holds an M.A. in anthropology from Boston University, where she also served as a fellow in the university's African Studies Center. Her master's thesis, inspired by a trip as an undergraduate to the Kenyan island of Lamu, examined the legacy of the 19th century slave trade on east Africa's Swahili coast. Scola lives in Brooklyn.