Kimbriell Kelly

Kimbriell Kelly is an award-winning investigative journalist who most recently served as assistant managing editor and Washington bureau chief at the Los Angeles Times and previously worked as an investigative reporter at the Washington Post.

At the Los Angeles Times, Kelly led 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 Los Angeles Times. Kelly edited the newspaper’s 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 Los Angeles Times’ first TikTok host and launching the company’s inaugural one-year fellowship program in Washington, D.C.

At the Washington Post, Kelly 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.

Earlier in her career, 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.