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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Dark Lives Of 'The Radium Girls' Left A Bright Legacy For Workers, Science

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Leaks Between Trump Team And Russia Continue To Come Out

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As Trump-Russia Controversy Continues, Kremlin Spies Watch And Learn

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Deadly Attack Highlights Failure To Eliminate Syria's Chemical Weapons

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Sen. Mark Warner On Russia Probe: 'This Is An Awful Lot Of Coincidences'

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Examining The Investigations Into Russian Influence In The U.S. Election

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Trump Campaign Adviser Sen. Richard Burr Leading Probe Of Trump Campaign And Russia

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Rep. Schiff Calls On House Intel Chair To Recuse Himself From Russia Probe

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A Middle-Aged Coming Of Age In 'All Grown Up'

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The Many Meetings Of Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak

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Former CIA officer Sabrina De Sousa is close to a deal with Italian authorities, according to a former Republican congressman. Barbara L. Salisbury/MCT via Getty Images hide caption

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Senate Considers Trump's Choice For National Intelligence Director

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Career CIA Analyst Ned Price Quits Rather Than Serve Trump Administration

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