“Kat has played a significant role in helping establish The Post as one of the industry’s leading product innovators. She has reimagined the news-reading experience across platforms and driven a product strategy that has helped substantially increase subscriber growth and retention,” said Shailesh Prakash, Chief Information Officer and Vice President of Digital Product Development at The Washington Post. “In this new role, Kat becomes the most senior leader for product and design in the company, setting an important precedent among our peers in the industry. Product is essential to the success of any modern media and technology company and Kat’s vision will ensure we are well-positioned for continued growth and innovation.”
Previously, Downs Mulder was director of product, leading a team of product managers and user experience and visual designers focused on expanding the audience for The Post’s journalism, deepening connections with new and loyal readers, and growing subscriptions. She was responsible for The Post’s product road map which includes the website, mobile apps, newsletters, video, and subscriptions. She led rapid experimentation, driving new reading experiences, subscriber features, and paywall optimizations. Her team worked hand in hand with the newsroom, marketing and client solutions teams to launch successful initiatives like Post Reports, The Post’s daily podcast, and “By The Way,” a new travel destination.
“Our goal is to build a long-term, lasting relationship with our readers and subscribers. When you select us to be your news provider, we want you to have an exceptional experience no matter how you access our content,” said Downs Mulder. “Because our readers demand the best, our dynamic and growing team is powered by the best. There is no better place to innovate and experiment on what the future of news looks like than at The Washington Post.”
Prior to that, Downs Mulder spent nearly ten years in The Post newsroom. She served as the director of graphics establishing herself as one of the organization’s most transformative leaders. In that role, she built a world-renowned graphics department that redefined digital storytelling with major projects like The Post’s 2016 election results experience, its augmented reality game for the 2018 Winter Olympics, and the award-winning “Raising Barriers.” She has held numerous roles in The Post newsroom, including deputy graphics director, interactive projects editor, and innovative editor for graphics. Downs Mulder joined The Post from the Baltimore Sun in 2008 as a news designer and developer for washingtonpost.com. She has also taught visual journalism at Northwestern’s Medill School and design at Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies.
Downs Mulder earned a B.A. in journalism and mass communication from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and two children.