Doby Photography/NPR
Mary Louise Kelly 2010
Doby Photography/NPR

Mary Louise Kelly

National Security Correspondent

Mary Louise Kelly is national security correspondent for NPR News.

Her reporting tracks the CIA and other spy agencies, terrorism, wars, and rising nuclear powers. As part of the national security team, she has traveled extensively to investigate foreign policy and military issues. Kelly's assignments have taken her from the Khyber Pass to mosques in Hamburg, and from grimy Belfast bars to the deserts of Iraq. In addition to reporting, she serves as a guest host for NPR News programs. Her first assignment at NPR was senior editor of the award-winning afternoon newsmagazine, All Things Considered.

Kelly first launched NPR's intelligence beat in 2004. After one particularly tough trip to Baghdad — so tough she wrote an essay about it for Newsweek — she decided to try trading the spy beat for spy fiction. Her debut espionage novel, Anonymous Sources, was published by Simon and Schuster in 2013. It's a tale of journalists, spies, and Pakistan's nuclear security. Her second novel, The Bullet, followed in 2015.

During her spell away from full-time reporting, Kelly's writing appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Politico, Washingtonian, The Atlantic, and other publications. She also launched and taught a course on national security and journalism at Georgetown University. And she joined The Atlantic as a contributing editor. She continues to hold that role, moderating newsmaker interviews at forums from Aspen to Abu Dhabi.

A Georgia native, Kelly's first job was pounding the streets as a local political reporter at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In 1996, she made the leap to broadcasting, joining the team that launched Public Radio International's The World. The following year Kelly moved to London to work as a producer for CNN and as a senior producer, host, and reporter for the BBC World Service.

Kelly graduated from Harvard University in 1993 with degrees in government and French language and literature. Two years later, she completed a master's degree in European Studies at Cambridge University in England.

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Career CIA Analyst Ned Price Quits Rather Than Serve Trump Administration

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Trump Denies Campaign Aides Had Contact With Russian Officials

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Flynn's Departure Signals Upheaval Inside National Security Council

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Deputy Director Appointment Raises Concerns CIA's Dark Chapter Isn't Over

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White House Admits National Security Adviser Spoke With Russia

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After Missile Launch, White House Warns Iran But Offers No Action Plan

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Will Trump's Refugee Order Reduce Terror Threats In The U.S.?

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An Afghan detainee is held at the Parwan detention facility near Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan in 2011. A document circulating in Washington suggests the Trump administration might reactivate secret CIA "black sites" for terrorism detainees around the world. Dar Yasin/AP hide caption

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Mike Pompeo's Confirmation Raises Questions About Evolution Of The CIA

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President Trump Pays A Fence Mending Visit To The CIA

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Examining What We Know And Don't Know About Trump And Russia

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