David McDonald

Executive Director

David McDonald was named Executive Director of World Press Institute in January 2008.

McDonald, who with his family served as a host to WPI Fellows since 1983, is also a practicing attorney with the Schaefer Halleen law firm in Minneapolis. Much of his personal and professional life has been devoted to international interests.

For nearly 10 years, he made numerous trips to Geneva to represent Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights and the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund at meetings of the U.N. focusing on environmental human rights. McDonald has traveled extensively to promote this and other causes, and has contributed Op-Ed pieces to newspapers highlighting issues he addressed in India, Ireland and Brazil, among other places. He frequently visited and worked with former WPI Fellows during his travels. In addition to his work for Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights and the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund, McDonald has served as the Chair of the Finance Committee and Vice Chair of Graywolf Press, one of the nation’s leading non-profit literary publishing houses. An intense interest in poetry led to his earning an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and Literature at Bennington College in 2001. Previously, McDonald earned his B.A. from Carleton College, where he majored in Political Science and Urban Studies, and his law degree from New York University School of Law, where he served as Executive Editor of the Annual Survey of American Law.

As WPI’s Executive Director, McDonald is dedicated to promoting and implementing the core international journalist program that has been the organization’s signature program since its inception in 1961. He is also working with WPI’s Board of Directors to build support for programming that addresses changes in journalism, including developing a deeper understanding of transparency in the media, and supporting diversified vehicles for information sharing.

[x] Close

Doug Stone

Program Director

Doug Stone has been the WPI Program Director since 2010. He has been a host family and has worked closely with the program for many years when the program was based at Macalester College, where he was College Relations Director.

Stone has worked in journalism and communications in the Twin Cities for four decades. He was an award-winning reporter at the Minneapolis Tribune from 1971-1981 covering everything from police to general assignment to legal affairs. He worked at WCCO-TV from 1981-1990 where he was assignment editor and then assistant news director and supervised the newsroom’s political coverage. He was the late Sen. Paul Wellstone’s first Washington, D.C., press secretary from 1991-1993.

Stone was director of College Relations at Macalester College from 1993-2007, where he also taught a journalism course every year.

In addition to working for WPI, Stone is currently a communications and media consultant working mostly with non-profits and foundations in the education and health fields. He has been an active volunteer with the Heart Association and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation as well as with his children’s school PTA.  A 1971 honors graduate of the University of Minnesota, Stone also spent a year at Stanford University on a journalism fellowship sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

As Program Director, Stone helps plan and coordinate the travels and visits of the WPI fellows during their nine-week stay in the U.S. Working with Executive Director David McDonald, he attempts to promote the high journalistic standards of the WPI and to immerse the fellows in the changing face of journalism as well as the culture, politics and free press values of the U.S. He also travels with the fellows around the country for one to two weeks every year.

[x] Close

Lydia Lui

Deputy Program Director

The daughter of ethnically Chinese and European parents, Lydia Lui began working as the Deputy Program Director of the World Press Institute in May 2018.

As Deputy Program Director, Lui works closely with the Executive Director David McDonald and the Program Director Doug Stone in the development, administration, planning and coordination of the nine-week fellowship program. Lui also travels with the fellows for a portion of the program.

In addition to working with WPI, Lui is a practicing attorney at Vantage Law Group, PLLC, and a professional violinist in the Washington DC and Twin Cities, Minnesota metropolitan areas. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, a Master of Music degree from the University of Southern California, and a Juris Doctor degree, magna cum laude, from William Mitchell College of Law (now Mitchell Hamline School of Law).

Lui is passionate about making the world a better place and frequently works pro bono for WomenVenture, a nonprofit that provides women of all ages, cultures, races and income levels with the tools and resources to achieve economic success through small business ownership. She also serves as a Board Member for the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

In her personal time, Lui can be found traveling the world, having visited Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, the UK, and Uruguay.

[x] Close

The policies of WPI are set by its Board of Directors. Click on the names in blue below to read a short bio of that board member.

Dan E. Gahlon


Retired Vice President, Public Relations and Corporate Communications, 3M Company, St. Paul, Minnesota

Ginny Morris

Vice Chair

Board Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Hubbard Radio, LLC, St. Paul, Minnesota

Lori Johnson

Vice Chair

Retired Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Cargill, Inc., Wayzata, Minnesota

Ron Iori


Principal, Iori Communications, Chicago, Illinois

Susan J. Albright


Managing Editor, MinnPost.com, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Claude Erbsen

Retired Vice President and Director of World Services, The Associated Press, New York, New York

James Fallows

National Correspondent, The Atlantic, Washington, DC

Jim Farley

Retired Vice President, News & Programming, WTOP Radio, Washington, DC

Donna Fleming Runyon

Crisis Communications Manager, 3M Company, St. Paul, Minnesota

Nina Fudala

Media and Public Relations Consultant Sydney, Australia

Jose Gonzales

Managing Partner/GCG Advisors, Director/ECG Asset Management, New York, New York

John Hoeschler

Attorney, John G. Hoeschler, P.A., St. Paul, Minnesota

Denise Johnson

Editorial Board Member, Star Tribune, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Conrad Kiechel

Executive Director, Global Programming and Events, The Milken Institute, Santa Monica, California

Bruno Lopez

Executive Vice President, Hola Doctor, Inc., Miami, Florida

Lucas Mendes

Journalist, Anchor, Manhattan Connection, GloboNews Channel (Brazil), New York, New York

Howard Morgan

Partner & Senior Managing Director, Argand Partners, LP, New York, New York

Christopher (Kip) Morgan

Director of Audience Development, GOLF Magazine/GOLF.com, New York, New York

Kaius Niemi

Senior Editor-in-chief, Helsingin Sanomat, Helsinki, Finland

Eric Nilsson

Attorney, Nilsson Midness, P.A., Minneapolis, Minnesota

John Tunheim

Chief Judge, U.S. District Court (Minnesota), Minneapolis, Minnesota

Wendy Wyatt

Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota