Star Tribune promotes Kavita Kumar and adds Melissa Wind to leadership roles

Kumar to serve as community engagement director while Wind joins as head of philanthropic partnerships


The Star Tribune Media Company, the largest news organization in the Midwest, today announced the promotion of Kavita Kumar to community engagement director and the addition of Melissa Wind as head of philanthropic partnerships.

Kavita Kumar has been promoted to the newly created leadership role of community engagement director and will lead a proactive effort to solicit and feature commentary pieces and content from Minnesotans across the geographic, demographic and political spectrum. Kumar also will serve as an important voice for the community in the Star Tribune’s opinion journalism.

“Kavita is an extraordinary journalist who has served Minnesota so well with her reporting on the economy, retail and beyond,” said Steve Grove, publisher and CEO of the Star Tribune. “I’m thrilled to see her elevated into this new role that will help the Star Tribune be much more proactive in bringing new voices into our commentary and opinion report.”

Kumar has more than 10 years of experience at the Star Tribune as a reporter, most recently focused on covering the economy. She previously covered retail, including some of the state's biggest companies such as Target and Best Buy. She also spent a decade at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch covering retail, consumer affairs and higher education. She holds a B.A. in American Civilization from Brown University and an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. She was also a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economics and Business Journalism at Columbia University in 2018-2019. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and daughter.

"I am honored and excited to launch this new position for the Star Tribune,” said Kumar. “My goal is to highlight more diverse perspectives of Minnesotans from all walks of life and to ensure community voices have a place where they can be heard and be part of the public discourse."

Melissa Wind

Melissa Wind joins the Star Tribune as the media organization’s first-ever head of philanthropic partnerships as the organization seeks ways to further develop and fund their public service mission. In addition to securing philanthropic support for some of the Star Tribune’s most important work, Wind will develop organizational strategy around philanthropic partnership as a tool that can help align the strengths of Minnesota’s largest media organization more directly with the needs of the communities it serves.

“Local news organizations are increasingly turning to philanthropy to support their journalism, as well as initiatives centered on education, media literacy, community engagement and innovation,” said Paul Kasbohm, executive vice president and chief revenue officer for the Star Tribune. “We’re thrilled to welcome Melissa to the team as we continue to seek new ways to fund our journalistic endeavors.”

Wind joins the Star Tribune with nearly a decade of experience in philanthropic development at Huntington’s Disease Society of America, Children’s Law Center of Minnesota and the American Cancer Society. She holds a B.A. in Communications and Writing from Metro State University. She lives in Eagan with her husband and two dogs.

“As a lifetime local committed to fostering community, I can’t wait to get started building new initiatives powered by the generous nature of Minnesotans,” said Wind. “Philanthropy is that magic that happens when we channel our passion into impact, and there is no denying the immense impact the Star Tribune has across Minnesota.”

These new roles continue a series of strategic leadership developments at the Star Tribune, including a chief product officer, a new chief financial officer and vice president of communications and brand marketing and a senior vice president of consumer growth.

In addition, with the recent retirement of longtime Editorial Page Editor Scott Gillespie, the Star Tribune is currently seeking its next opinion editor and vice president. Interested candidates should apply here.

About Star Tribune Media Company:

Building on an extraordinary 157-year legacy that includes seven Pulitzer Prizes and hundreds of other awards, the Star Tribune Media Company is the Midwest’s largest news organization and is an unrivaled force for journalistic excellence in Minnesota. The Star Tribune has a vision to create the leading model for local news in America — driving innovation in media to make every Minnesotan’s life better. For more information, visit