Kimbriell Kelly – Former Assistant Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief

Portrait of Kimbriell Kelly
Former Assistant Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief Kimbriell Kelly
(Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)

Kimbriell Kelly is a former assistant managing editor and Washington bureau chief at the Los Angeles Times, where she oversaw coverage of politics and policy in Washington, D.C.

Kelly led the bureau’s coverage of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, the 2020 Trump election challenge and, in her first year as bureau chief, launched three successful series, the “United States of California,” “Covering Kamala Harris” and “Extreme Heat.” She was the first person of color to lead the bureau since it started operating in Washington in the 1940s, and only the second woman to hold that post for The Times.

Since joining The Times in Washington in 2019 as deputy editor for enterprise and investigations, Kelly edited the immigration coverage that led to the bureau’s first Pulitzer Prize in 17 years. She also led investigations into whether Stephen K. Bannon had lied to lawmakers; that showed why the failure to release $35 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. Kelly is credited with scouting the Times’ first TikTok host and launching the company’s inaugural one-year fellowship program in Washington, D.C.


Prior to joining The Times, Kelly was an investigative reporter at the Washington Post, where she was part of the team that won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting for the series “Fatal Force,” uncovering the FBI’s undercounting of fatal officer-involved shootings. She was a 2019 Pulitzer finalist for explanatory reporting for “Murder with Impunity,” a year-long examination of unsolved homicides across major cities in America. She is also the winner of the Polk Award for national reporting, Sigma Delta Chi for public service, among other awards, and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize and Selden Ring.

In 2022, Kelly was a Pulitzer Prize jurist in the investigative category and serves on the steering committee of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. She is a member of the National Assn. of Black Journalists, National Assn. of Hispanic Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors and is a trainer with the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting.

Prior to moving to Washington, Kelly was a reporter, editor and publisher in metropolitan 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.

Kelly was twice named Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University, in 2020 and 2021, and has served as an adjunct professor at UC Berkeley, Roosevelt University and American University.

She grew up in metropolitan Chicago, earning a bachelor’s degree in English literature from St. Xavier University and a master’s degree in journalism from Boston University. In 2022, Kelly received an honorary doctorate of arts and letters from St. Xavier University.