Zach Mullinax

Zach Mullinax was named Executive Director of the World Press Institute in January 2024.

Mr. Mullinax is a globally connected leader with extensive international business and talent management experience. Prior to joining the World Press Institute, Mullinax founded Creative Speakers Worldwide, which has been instrumental in guiding the careers of the world's most sought-after thought leaders, business executives, military generals, journalists, and politicians. Highlights include producing investigative reporter Bob Woodward’s worldwide public lecture events, as well as representing sold-out engagements for criminal defense attorney Dean Strang & Jerry Buting (featured in Netflix’s “Making a Murderer”), retired DEA agents Steve Murphy & Javier Pena (whose life story was the basis for Netflix series “Narcos”), Michael Smerconish (CNN), Pete Souza (White House Photographer) and many others. Zach is passionate about his community and has served on multiple city boards, including the Minneapolis Capital Improvement Commission and the Minnesota Committee on Foreign Relations. He holds a BS from California Polytechnic San Luis Obispo and a Master of Public Administration from the University of South Dakota. Zach lives in south Minneapolis with his family.

As WPI’s Executive Director, Mullinax is dedicated to promoting and implementing the core international journalist fellowship that has been the organization’s signature program since its inception in 1961. He is also working with WPI’s Board of Directors to foster deeper connections between our 600+ alumni, develop international industry conferences & partnerships, and diversify WPI’s funding sources.

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David McDonald

Executive Chair of the WPI Board of Directors
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.

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Kate Westlund

Kate Westlund Tovsen

Communications Consultant
Kate Westlund Tovsen is a mission-driven communications specialist with extensive experience in the arts, health care, public media, and higher education.

She received her BS in communications with an emphasis in rhetoric from the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University. She is a former journalist and documentarian, having held several roles at Twin Cities PBS before starting her own consulting firm in 2017. She joined WPI as its Communications Director in 2020.

She loves helping other people and organizations tell their stories, whether it’s for the purpose of winning grants, growing an audience, or simply for entertainment purposes.

In her free time, Kate can be found tending the many plants and animals of her growing hobby farm, serving on the board of directors for the Minnesota Knitters’ Guild, experimenting in her kitchen, or dreaming up her next adventure.

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Ben Harris

Ben Harris

Ben Harris has been the World Press Institute Webmaster since 2012. Ben is a service-oriented freelance Drupal and WordPress web developer. He has over 20 years of experience supporting non-profits, educational organizations, and small businesses by building and maintaining enterprise-level applications. He also works at the University of Minnesota Global Programs & Strategy Alliance.

With a BA from Macalester College in Linguistics and French, graduate work in Learning Technologies and Instructional Design, Ben has had a life-long personal interest in journalism and international relations.

Ben lives in Minneapolis with his wife and a few cats and dogs. He spends plenty of time in the kitchen and garden, occasionally getting further away to hike in state parks or canoe in the BWCA.

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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.

David McDonald

Executive Chairman

Lori Johnson

Vice Chairman

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

John Tunheim


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

Dan E. Gahlon

Executive Committee

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

Camilla Bath

Journalism Trainer and Consultant, Africa/Europe

James Fallows

National Correspondent, The Atlantic, Washington, DC

Jim Farley

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

Nina Fudala

Media and Public Relations Consultant Sydney, Australia

Jose Gonzales

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

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

Michael Montgomery

Senior Broadcast Producer and Reporter, Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting, Emeryville, CA

Howard Morgan

Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Argand Partners, LP, New York, New York

Christopher (Kip) Morgan

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

Ginny Morris

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

Kaius Niemi

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

Eric Nilsson

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

Wendy Wyatt

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