Mary Louise Kelly Mary Louise Kelly is national security correspondent for NPR News.
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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Story Archive

President Trump Speaks To Nation Outlining A Way Forward In Afghanistan

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White House Resets: Bannon Out, Path Forward In Afghanistan

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Trump's National Security Team Meets To Discuss Way Forward In Afghanistan

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Morning News Brief: North Korea's Nuclear Threat, Trump TV

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Retired CIA station chief Daniel Hoffman says Russia intended for Donald Trump Jr.'s June 2016 meeting with Russians to be discovered. Mary Louise Kelly/NPR hide caption

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Cover Lifted, A CIA Spy Offers His Take On Trump And Russia

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North Korea Confusion Illustrates Trump Administration's Divide Over Foreign Policy

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Jared Kushner Faces Backlash For Role In Trump Jr.'s Russia Meeting

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Author: Governments Seek To Dominate The 'Wild West' Of Cyberspace

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Former NSA Inspector General On Talks Of U.S.-Russian Cybersecurity Unit

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News Brief: North Korea Crisis Overshadows Trump's European Trip

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News Brief: North Korea Launches Missile; States Won't Supply Voter Data

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Morning News Brief: Uber CEO Resigns, GOP Wins In Georgia, Russia Investigation

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After Comey Drama, Russia Hearings Expected To Focus Back On Russia

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When reporting from Moscow, NPR's Mary Louise Kelly was typing when the cursor began to jump around on its own. Konstantin Leyfer/TASS via Getty Images hide caption

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Konstantin Leyfer/TASS via Getty Images