L.A. Times Names Kimbriell Kelly Incoming Washington Bureau Chief

Kimbriell Kelly
(Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times)

David Lauter to become Times senior Washington correspondent starting Nov. 4


The Los Angeles Times today announced Kimbriell Kelly will be the next Washington bureau chief, to succeed David Lauter, starting Nov. 4 – the day after the election. Following a decade leading the bureau, Lauter will take on a new role as The Times’ senior Washington correspondent.

“It’s been an honor and a pleasure to lead such a talented group of journalists,” Lauter said. “After nearly a decade, it’s time to hand off the baton, and the election provides the logical time. I’m especially happy to be handing off to someone with Kimbriell’s intelligence, drive and ambition for great journalism; the bureau will be in good hands.”

Since joining The Times in Washington as deputy editor for enterprise and investigations, Kelly has edited the immigration coverage that led to the bureau’s first Pulitzer Prize in 17 years. Recent stories that she produced, including those on vaping and Cal/OSHA, have resonated with readers who live in or care about California.


Kelly’s competitive streak and her passion for scoops and memorable stories are reflected in numerous stories that she has championed over the past year, including coverage of an investigation into whether Stephen K. Bannon had lied to lawmakers; that showed why the failure to release $20 million in Pentagon aid to Ukraine was at the center of the impeachment inquiry; and that made public the FBI’s service of a search warrant on prominent Republican Sen. Richard M. Burr seeking information about controversial stock trades, prompting Burr to announce a day later that he would step down as chair of the Intelligence Committee.

Prior to joining The Times, Kelly was an investigative reporter at the Washington Post, where she started in 2012, after working in and around Chicago for almost 15 years at the Daily Herald and the Chicago Reporter, where her investigation into Countrywide Financial’s subprime mortgage lending led to the nation’s largest fair-lending settlement. While at the Post, she worked on “Fatal Force,” a team effort investigating officer-involved shootings that won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 2016. Three years later, she was a Pulitzer finalist for a yearlong examination of murder in America’s 55 largest cities.

Lauter joined The Times’ Washington bureau in 1987 after working as a reporter for six years in D.C. After covering the George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations, he moved to L.A. in 1995 to begin his editing career, overseeing specialist writers on science, medicine, education and legal affairs. Over the next years, he served as deputy Metro editor and deputy Foreign editor, then assistant managing editor for California coverage. He helped direct the team that won the Pulitzer for coverage of the 2003 wildfires, and Metro reporters won three more Pulitzers during his four years heading the staff, including the Gold Medal for public service in 2011. He returned to Washington that year as bureau chief.

In a memo to the newsroom, Executive Editor Norman Pearlstine, Managing Editor Scott Kraft and Deputy Managing Editor Shani O. Hilton wrote, “We are fortunate that we shall continue to benefit from David’s encyclopedic knowledge of Washington and of politics, as a writer of interpretive pieces while continuing to supervise our polling efforts and other projects.”