Kat Downs Mulder named The Washington Post’s managing editor for digital news

Downs Mulder has worked for the organization since 2008. She most recently has been vice president of product and design, a business-side role involving digital operations. She previously was in charge of The Post’s graphics department.

At 36, she is one of the youngest people named managing editor in The Post’s 143-year history. The position is one of four deputies to Executive Editor Martin Baron. Her appointment continues a reshaping of The Post’s top editorial ranks over the past three months.

She is the third woman among the news organization’s four managing editors. In July, Baron named Krissah Thompson to serve as managing editor for diversity and inclusion, a new position created in the wake of nationwide protests over racial inequities and a broad reassessment by news organizations of their diversity in staffing and news coverage. Downs Mulder and Thompson join Tracy Grant, who has been managing editor for staff development and standards since 2018. The fourth managing editor is Cameron Barr, who supervises The Post’s eight news and feature departments.

In a staff announcement, Baron wrote that Downs Mulder “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.”

He said Downs Mulder, as graphics director, “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,” including work that contributed to three Pulitzer Prizes.

“Few in our organization,” Baron wrote, “have the breadth and depth of her digital experience.”

In an interview, Downs Mulder said, “Our subscriber growth has been strong, and my job will be to build on that success to draw more and more engaged subscribers to The Post.” She continued: “I’m excited about our new visuals initiative, which is adding more than a dozen new positions to our graphics and design teams to double down on the incredible work our visual journalists have been doing, and deliver more of the riveting stories subscribers love.”

Downs Mulder joined The Post as a digital-news designer after working for the Baltimore Sun as a Web producer. She graduated from the University of North Carolina in 2006 with a concentration in photojournalism and multimedia.

While on the business side of The Post over the past three years, Downs Mulder has been involved in efforts to attract and retain subscribers and has worked with the engineering, news and audience teams to increase the speed in which breaking news is published online, Baron said. She also led the recent home-page redesign, which increased reader engagement on the site.

She’ll start her new position on Oct. 19.

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