Kat Downs Mulder named managing editor/digital of The Washington Post

Downs Mulder is currently Vice President of Product and Design, overseeing The Post’s product strategy. She leads a team focused on developing and refining The Post’s website, apps, internal tools and new products to expand the audience for The Post’s journalism, deepen connections with new and loyal readers and grow subscriptions. Downs Mulder previously led The Post’s award-winning Graphics department for almost five years.

“I’m excited to return to the newsroom and look forward to leading this talented team of innovative journalists,” said Downs Mulder. “Having led product the last three years, I’ve gained a deep understanding of our subscribers and potential subscribers, and the content and experiences they value. I’ll bring that experience to this role with the ultimate goal of engaging readers more deeply and continuing to aggressively grow our subscriber base.”

Downs Mulder will start in her new position on Monday, Oct. 19.

Full memo from Post Executive Editor Marty Baron below:

I am delighted to announce that Kat Downs Mulder will become The Post’s new managing editor/digital, effective next Monday.

Kat, who now serves as vice president of product and design and previously headed The Post’s Graphics department for almost five years, will lead our efforts to innovate in a rapidly changing digital landscape and to guide the newsroom through a dramatic evolution in storytelling forms and in how the public consumes information.

Kat has been a leader for years in the digital transformation of The Post. As director of Graphics, she moved the department from its print orientation to an intense digital focus, promoting original visual reporting, creative storytelling that fuses the powerful tools now at our disposal, and presentations tailored to mobile and social platforms. The work won gold medals from Malofiej and the Society for News Design, and contributed to three Pulitzer prizes. With projects such as “Your Brain on Art,” “The N-Word Project,” “Sin Luz” and “The Waypoint,” as well as our first in-house ventures into augmented reality, Kat took a leadership role in cross-functional teams of graphics and video journalists, designers, engineers, reporters and editors that became models for how we organize our most ambitious and collaborative work today.

In 2016, Kat led the live election experience on our site and apps, ensuring we had reliable results that were published faster than our digital competitors. She conceived and led the development of Chartable, a tool that allowed reporters to make quality graphics and charts on their own.

In her most recent role overseeing product, Kat has concentrated on our strategy to attract and retain subscribers, contributing mightily to our impressive subscription growth by rethinking our user experience across the homepage, article pages, newsletters and apps. In the past year, the product, engineering, audience and live news teams have worked together to develop a powerful new live article template, which opened the way for us to publish more quickly when major news breaks and to optimize for search results. She also has improved the effectiveness of our paywall, the ease of purchasing The Post on our site and in apps and the onboarding experience that pointed new subscribers to more of what interests them.

With a deep passion for our journalism and a determination to see it attract an ever larger and more loyal audience in a turbulent media environment, Kat has immersed herself in the intricacies and complexities of creating, publishing and disseminating stories. She has studied our existing and potential audience, the strategies of our competitors and our relationships with distribution partners while also mastering the technologies that are central to our business and profession.

Kat can focus on the urgent needs of the present, down to the smallest detail, even as she keeps her eye on our larger and longer-term goals. Her work has brought her into regular and close collaboration with just about every Post department. Few in our organization have the breadth and depth of her digital experience. And she has hired, mentored and promoted some of our finest talent, with an emphasis on diversity, communication and high standards.

Kat has worked at The Post since 2008, starting as a designer at washingtonpost.com and later becoming the innovations editor in the Graphics department and interactive projects editor before taking on her top leadership roles in Graphics. After graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill School of Media and Journalism in 2006 with a concentration in photojournalism and multimedia, she worked at baltimoresun.com as a web producer.

From her college years to the present day, Kat has been imagining the future of our profession and business, enthusiastically embracing the possibilities for journalism in a digital world. Please congratulate Kat as she now brings that vision, energy and dedication to her new position as a managing editor of The Post.

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