Committed to a life of service that harnesses the innovative power of technology and the transformative potential of the arts, Margo Drakos is a former professional cellist turned entrepreneur and a proud U.S. military spouse. Ms. Drakos is a Founder and CEO of ArtistYear, the first organization dedicated to national service through the arts, and the first of its kind to receive national and state AmeriCorps funding ($2.8M) and recognition. ArtistYear recruits, trains, and supports recent arts graduates to serve as full-time teaching artists in high-poverty schools across our nation. Ms. Drakos has spent the past decade working with institutions leveraging technology and strategic alignment to realize scale, revenue generation, and sustainability. Until 2017, Ms. Drakos spent four years as Chief Technology Officer at McChrystal Group LLC and Chief Growth Officer at its spin-off, CrossLead, Inc., an enterprise software and services company that optimizes organizational performance.
Margo Drakos 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. She entered music conservatory at fifteen as a double major in cello and composition and graduated from Curtis Institute of Music. She served as Artist-in-Residence and a Cello and Chamber Music faculty member at the Aspen Music Festival & School and Manhattan School of Music from 2002-2008 and toured with “Musicians from Marlboro”. Her positions included cellist of the American String Quartet, Principal Cellist of the San Diego Symphony and Associate Principal of Pittsburgh Symphony.
In 2007, embracing the power of technology to democratize access to the arts, Ms. Drakos co-founded and led her first start-up, InstantEncore.com, the world’s leading provider of web and mobile technology to the performing arts. In 2011, she was made a Partner at the SwitchCase Group, the lead investor in InstantEncore.
Ms. Drakos was honored as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, a community of extraordinary global leaders under forty (2010). She received a Masters in Human Rights from Columbia University and holds Executive Degrees in Global Leadership and Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School and Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. Her publications have appeared in the Aspen Institute Magazine, The International Affairs Review, The Stanford Social Innovation Review, and The Cornell International Law Journal.