As a Managing Director of the Foundation, Margo Drakos plays a lead role in sourcing new investments and working with the leadership of those organizations as an operating partner and board member as they grow to build capacity and to achieve their maximum impact. As a member of the Foundation’s senior leadership team, she also helps to execute the Foundation’s strategy and goals and contributes to its thought leadership and external outreach.
Margo is the Founder and CEO of ArtistYear, the first national AmeriCorps program focused on the arts, and will be stepping down/transitioning at the end of 2021. ArtistYear is dedicated to addressing inequities in Arts Education for K-12 students via a National Service Arts Corps. Previously, Margo spent the past decade working with private and public sector institutions leveraging technology and strategic alignment to realize scale, revenue generation, and sustainability. She has recruited, led, and motivated matrixed and dispersed organizations of engineering, product, marketing, and growth teams. During this time, Margo served as Chief Technology Officer and Partner at McChrystal Group, LLC, a client services and enterprise software company designed to optimize organizational performance.
Margo began working as a professional musician at age four, performing on national radio and television commercials. Over the course of her career as a cellist she performed as a soloist, chamber, and orchestral musician on the world’s preeminent stages on five continents. Margo entered music conservatory at fifteen as a double major in cello and composition and graduated from Curtis Institute of Music in 1999. She served as Artist-in-Residence and faculty member at the Aspen Music Festival and School and Manhattan School of Music from 2002-2008 and toured regularly with “Musicians from Marlboro”. Margo’s positions included cellist of the American String Quartet, Principal Cellist of the Oregon, San Diego, and Seattle Symphonies, and Associate Principal of the Pittsburgh Symphony. She has recorded for Sony Classical and produced for Naxos.
In 2007, embracing the power of technology to democratize access to the arts, Margo co-founded and led her first start-up, InstantEncore, the world’s leading provider of web and mobile technology to the performing arts. In that role, she launched the first mobile applications and live web/mobile concert streaming and download events from Carnegie Hall and the New York Philharmonic to the Sydney Opera House. In 2011, she was made a Partner at SwitchCase Group, the lead investor in InstantEncore.
Margo is an alum of the Young Global Leader program of the World Economic Forum. Margo is a frequent guest speaker on technology, entrepreneurship, and the arts at institutions and events including the Global Competitiveness Forum of Saudi Arabia, TechVenture in Singapore, and the World Economic Forum at Davos.
Margo received a master’s in human rights from Columbia University. She has also completed executive degrees in global leadership and public policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore. Her publications have appeared in The Cornell International Law Journal, The International Affairs Review, and The Stanford Social Innovation Review.