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Mary Louise Kelly

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Mary Kelly

Nick Boyle


Mary Louise Kelly's tight lipped smile while wearing gray blouse

March 27, 1971 (age 53) , Augsburg, Germany (

Harvard University, University of Cambridge

Mary louise kelly anonymous sources

Mary Louise Kelly is an American broadcaster and author. A reporter and host for National Public Radio (NPR), and before that at CNN, and the BBC, her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, The Atlantic, and other publications. Her first novel, Anonymous Sources, was published in 2013; her second, The Bullet, in 2015.


Mary Louise Kelly wearing brown dress with combination of color white, black and red while smiling and holding her book Anonymous Sources

Mary louise kelly discusses her latest novel the bullet


Mary Louise Kelly wearing necklace and coat while smiling and holding a piece of paper

Kelly graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1993, with degrees in Government and French Literature. As a senior editor at the Harvard Crimson, she covered the 1992 Presidential election, including Bill Clinton's inauguration.

In 1995 she completed her masters in European Studies at Cambridge University (Emmanuel College) in England.


Her first post-college job was reporting on local politics for her hometown newspaper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

After graduate school in Cambridge, England, and internships at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in Scotland and London, she joined the Boston team that launched the radio news magazine The World, a joint venture between the BBC and Public Radio International.

The following year, Kelly moved back to the UK, working as a host, foreign correspondent and senior producer for the BBC World Service, and as a producer at CNN in London. Kelly reported from the Afghan-Pakistan border, radical Hamburg mosques, Kosovo refugee camps and the deck of an aircraft carrier. At the BBC, she covered the peace talks that ended decades of violence in Northern Ireland.

In 2001, Kelly returned to the United States to join NPR in Washington. For three years, she edited NPR's evening newsmagazine, All Things Considered. The NPR website described her as a "bad-ass babe on breaking news”.

In 2004, Kelly launched NPR's intelligence beat. She reported on spy agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency.

In 2005, Kelly became the first reporter to interview Gary Schroen, the CIA operative who was dropped into Afghanistan in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks with a six-man team and a directive to bring back the head of Bin Laden.

In 2006, Kelly broke the news of the CIA's secret decision to disband the unit aimed at hunting Osama Bin Laden. That story caused an uproar and led to the Senate voting on September 8, 2006, to reinstate the unit.

From January 2009 to 2011, Kelly was National Public Radio's senior Pentagon correspondent, reporting on defense and foreign policy issues. As part of NPR's national security team, Kelly covered the Obama administration's approach to the wars in Afghanistan and the Iraq War. She also focused on how the U.S. projected its military power elsewhere in the world; how the U.S. reacted to, and dealt with, the emerging global military muscle of countries such as China; and the way in which U.S. foreign policy goals are often sought, and sometimes achieved, through defense and Intelligence agency channels.

From 2011 to 2014, Kelly focused on writing novels, and raising her sons, moving twice to live in Florence, Italy.

In 2014 Kelly became an Contributing Editor at The Atlantic magazine, hosting multiple live events including the Aspen Ideas Festival, The Washington Ideas Forum and CityLab London.

In 2016, Kelly returned to NPR as National Security Correspondent and guest host of Morning Edition and All Things Considered. She continued as a Contributing Editor at The Atlantic magazine and is working on her third novel.

Kelly has served for many years as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, teaching national security and journalism classes


In 2013, Kelly’s political spy thriller, Anonymous Sources, was published by Simon & Schuster. In it, journalist Alexandra James investigates a clandestine nuclear plot.

Her second novel, The Bullet, was published in March, 2015. The protagonist, Caroline Cashion, a professor at Georgetown University, finds a bullet lodged in her neck and sets out to unravel the mystery.

Personal life

Kelly is married to Nicholas Boyle, a partner at litigation firm Williams & Connolly.


Mary Louise Kelly Wikipedia

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