Kat Downs Mulder is Chief Product Officer and managing editor of digital at The Washington Post,
bridging newsroom and engineering and driving a strategy aimed at accelerating digital innovation
across the company. Downs Mulder oversees a hybrid structure that includes teams from news, product and engineering, including journalists focused on visual storytelling, news curation, audience development and emerging news products as well as engineering and product groups responsible for the development of The Post’s website, apps, subscriptions, and internal tools. Under her leadership, these teams share a roadmap focused on attracting new readers, growing digital subscriptions and pushing the boundaries of how journalists tell stories.
Downs Mulder was previously managing editor for digital and, prior to that, she was The Post’s first-ever Vice President of Product & Design. In that role, she led the strategy 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 digital subscriptions. She reimagined the user experience across the homepage, article pages, newsletters and apps. Downs Mulder also improved the effectiveness of The Post’s paywall, creating a frictionless purchasing flow on the site and in apps, and launched a new onboarding experience that pointed new subscribers to more of what interests them.
Downs Mulder previously led The Post’s award-winning graphics department for almost five years.
Under her leadership, the team adopted an intense digital focus that promoted original visual reporting, creative storytelling that leverages powerful tools, 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, Downs Mulder 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. Downs Mulder 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. Before joining The Post, she worked at The Baltimore Sun. Her work has been honored by the Peabody Awards, the Society of Newspaper Design, the Online Journalism Awards and the Malofiej International Infographics Awards. She has also taught design and development at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and Georgetown University. Downs Mulder graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill School of Media and Journalism in 2006 with a concentration in photojournalism and multimedia. She resides in Washington, DC.