nicco meleNicco Mele is managing director at the Draper Richards Kaplan FoundationFrom 2016-2019, he was Director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, where he continues to teach classes. His prior experience includes serving as Senior Vice President and Deputy Publisher of the Los Angeles Times and as the Wallis Annenberg Chair in Journalism at the University of Southern California. At the Los Angeles Times he focused on product, content, revenue, and audience development for all of the Los Angeles Times Media Group’s brands, including growing existing digital products and services, identifying possible acquisitions, developing new business opportunities and launching new products.

Nicco’s first book, The End of Big: How The Internet Makes David The New Goliath, was published by St. Martin’s Press on April 23, 2013. In it, he explores the consequences of living in a socially-connected society, drawing upon his years of experience as an innovator in politics and technology. For the last six years, Nicco has served on the faculty of the Harvard Kennedy School teaching graduate-level classes on the internet and politics.

Nicco also advises manufacturing, publishing, and data analytics start-ups. He co-founded Echo & Co., a digital consulting firm with offices in Boston, Detroit and Washington, DC, that aids clients who are facing, and being overtaken by, overwhelming technological and social change.

Born to Foreign Service parents, Nicco spent his early years in Asia and Africa before graduating from the College of William and Mary in Virginia with a bachelor’s degree in government. He then worked for several high-profile advocacy organizations where he pioneered the use of social media as a galvanizing force for fundraising. As webmaster for Governor Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential bid, Nicco and the campaign team popularized the use of technology and social media that revolutionized political fundraising and reshaped American politics. Nicco also ran Internet strategy for Barack Obama’s successful 2004 campaign for U.S. Senate.

Since his early days as one of Esquire Magazine’s “Best and Brightest” in America, Nicco has been a sought-after innovator, media commentator, and speaker. He serves on a number of private and non-profit boards, including the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. Nicco co-founded the Massachusetts Poetry Festival, and in 2014 he co-produced a documentary about the poet W.S. Merwin, “Even Though The Whole World Is Burning.”

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