Managing Director, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation
Nicco Mele is managing director at the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation. From 2016 to 2019, Nicco was the Director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. Nicco’s prior experience includes founding technology companies, working on political campaigns, and a stint as a media executive at the Los Angeles Times. He has published widely, including the international bestseller The End of Big: How The Digital Revolution Makes David The New Goliath published in 2013 by St. Martin’s Press. Nicco co-founded Echo & Co., a digital consulting firm with offices in Boston and Washington, DC. Echo & Co. 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. Subsequently, he co-founded Echo & Co. 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 and the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy. 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”. He currently serves on Spirit of America’s advisory board.