Former Journal Sentinel reporter to lead Milwaukee Institute

Pulitzer Prize-winning business reporter Kathleen Gallagher named executive director

The Milwaukee Institute has named former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Kathleen Gallagher executive director.

Milwaukee Institute is a nonprofit organization that promotes local technological innovation and entrepreneurship.


Gallagher, who worked for the Journal Sentinel for 23 years, wrote about technology, entrepreneurship and investments. She was a member of a Journal Sentinel team that won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in explanatory reporting for “One in a Billion: A Boy’s Life, A Medical Mystery.”

The story chronicled the groundbreaking efforts of Milwaukee-area doctors to save the life of a young boy suffering from a mysterious disease using DNA sequencing technology.

Gallagher will succeed Jay Bayne, who retired in September. Bayne co-founded the Milwaukee Institute with John Byrnes in 2007.

Byrnes is currently serving as the chairman of the Milwaukee Institute’s board of trustees.

“We’ve got all of the ingredients here in Wisconsin to create an even more vibrant innovation economy,” Gallagher said in a statement. “In my new position at the Milwaukee Institute, I’m excited to help coalesce thought leadership in this area and share best practices, content and programming with corporations, entrepreneurs, universities and other stakeholders in our community.”

Gallagher earned an undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a graduate degree in English from the University of Chicago. Before joining the Journal Sentinel, Gallagher was a communications consultant at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

“The rapid shift of computational infrastructure to the cloud has meant that Milwaukee Institute resources can be redirected to promoting better understanding of how advanced information technology is changing the social, political and economic landscape,” Byrnes said. “Kathleen Gallagher is the perfect leader for this new mission. We were delighted by Kathleen’s interest in becoming our new executive director and very impressed by her vision and passion for the assignment.”

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Ben Stanley, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.

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