John S. Bracken to head Digital Public Library of America

By DPLA, November 1, 2017.
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The Digital Public Library of America is pleased to announce that John S. Bracken has been selected to be the next Executive Director of DPLA, beginning December 4, 2017. A demonstrated leader in the field of digital innovation with nearly two decades of experience at philanthropic foundations, Bracken will lead DPLA in its next chapter of development, as the organization embarks upon its fifth year of operation.

As Executive Director, Bracken will lead DPLA’s staff, board, and key stakeholders in developing a clear vision and strategy for DPLA’s future. Bracken will build on the great foundation already in place, and focus on continued growth, innovation, and services for our partners and users. Bracken brings the requisite vision and passion to lead DPLA at this exciting juncture as well as broad experience working with public libraries and cultural institutions, digital media, and foundations.

“I am honored to have the privilege of leading the Digital Public Library of America during such a critical time,” Bracken said. “Libraries are more vital to our nation’s health than ever, and DPLA has a critical role to play in ensuring their vibrancy in the future.”

Bracken joins DPLA from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, where he is vice president, technology innovation. He previously directed Knight’s journalism and media innovation program, before becoming vice president, media innovation. In these roles, he oversaw $100 million of technology funding, facilitated initiatives to enhance museum technology and library innovation, and supported projects to improve the creation, sharing, and use of information. Bracken also supervised the Knight News Challenge and the Knight Prototype Fund and helped to create a $27 million fund on artificial intelligence and ethics.  

“John’s vision for a thriving, sustainable DPLA coupled with his leadership skills, business acumen, and intelligence makes him the ideal person to advance DPLA’s commitment to making America’s rich cultural resources freely available to all,” said DPLA Board Chair, Amy Ryan. “The Board of Directors and staff look forward to working with John as we forge ahead in DPLA’s quest to foster learning, teaching, discovery, and thinking for people from all walks of life.”

Bracken received his undergraduate degree from the Claremont Colleges’ Pitzer College, and a Master’s degree from the Annenberg​ ​School​ ​for​ ​Communication​,​ ​at the University​ ​of​ ​Pennsylvania. Bracken previously worked at the Ford Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. He currently serves on the board of Illinois Humanities.

We invite our community of friends and partners to join us in welcoming John to DPLA!

About the Digital Public Library of America
The Digital Public Library of America empowers people to learn, grow, and contribute to a diverse and better-functioning society. We do this by maximizing public access to our shared history, culture, and knowledge. DPLA connects people to the riches held within America’s libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural heritage institutions. The Digital Public Library of America is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Boston.