190: John Bracken

Steve chats with John Bracken, Executive Director at Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), about why he left the Knight Foundation to take on the challenge of the DPLA, how the DPLA works with its partners, and how DPLA is working to protect democracy and advance needed conversations about race.

John Bracken has served as executive director at Digital Public Library of America since December 2017. Previously John worked for nearly two decades as a philanthropic investor in digital media, media policy, and innovation. He most recently served as vice president for technology innovation at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, where he oversaw the Knight News Challenge, Knight’s Prototype Fund, and other efforts to improve the creation, curation, and accessibility of information. He previously managed technology and civic innovation programs at the MacArthur Foundation and the Ford Foundation. He has a master’s degree from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. from Pitzer College. He also serves on the board of the Illinois Humanities Council.


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