Media experiments project lead
Tran wanted to be Nancy Drew when she was little. She parlayed her love for mystery-solving and storytelling into an action-packed career in journalism. She reported on the 25th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War from Ho Chi Minh City, led the coverage of Obama’s historic 2008 presidential election and hired 80 teenagers for a startup publication by and for Chicago high school students.
As editor and general manager of the millennial-targeted RedEye in Chicago during the rise of social media, Tran transformed a daily newspaper into a digitally driven, multi-platform news organization. RedEye saw significant growth in reach, readership, revenue and social relevance under her leadership.
Her belief that understanding new audiences, particularly millennials, is crucial to the success of modern media organizations led her to the John S. Knight Fellowship at Stanford and to the d.school.
In her current role as project lead for the d.school’s media experiments program, Tran draws on her eclectic background in journalism, storytelling, audience-centered design and business.
Tran has a bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Minnesota and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame, where, as a late bloomer, she also learned to appreciate college football and Irish whiskey.
Tran’s superpowers include making a mean risotto, creating order and meaning out of chaos, and being a champion listener/empathizer. She has been described by colleagues as “quietly relentless,” which she thinks is a good thing.