Mary Louise Kelly

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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It was Donald Trump's first solo press conference as president yesterday, and it was pretty extraordinary. He took questions for more than an hour. But this is really the message he was trying to get across.

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Updated at 5:10 p.m. ET

Call it the case of the mysterious moving confirmation hearing.

Donald Trump nominated Dan Coats to the nation's top intelligence post back on Jan. 7, when Trump was still president-elect and Coats — an Indiana Republican — had just departed the Senate.

But today — nearly four weeks into the Trump administration — there's still no firm date on the calendar for the Senate confirmation hearing for the director of national intelligence nominee.

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Here's one side of the resume of the CIA's new second-in-command, Gina Haspel: she's a decorated officer, serving more than three decades undercover, including multiple tours as a station chief.

And here's another side: Haspel's fingerprints are all over the CIA's detention and interrogation programs. She ran the "black site" prison in Thailand where al-Qaida suspect Abu Zabaydah was waterboarded 83 times. Those sessions were videotaped but the tapes were destroyed in 2005, two years after a member of Congress called on the CIA to preserve such tapes.

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Politics may be at play in the appearance of a draft presidential order that could revive the CIA's "black site" prisons, one former CIA director says.

The appearance of the document, first reported by the New York Times, drew an immediate outcry from both Democratic and Republican lawmakers, as well as CIA veterans.

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The CIA has a new boss today. Mike Pompeo was sworn in last night. He went straight to CIA headquarters this morning. He's already sent a note to the staff telling them how excited he is to be on the job.

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Let's sort through what we know and don't know about President-elect Trump and Russia. We start with words he resisted saying for months.

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DONALD TRUMP: As far as hacking, I think it was Russia.

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Last night, CIA Director John Brennan sat down with a team from NPR. He weighed in on Russian hacking, the future of Syria and his plans for life as a civilian. Here's NPR national security correspondent Mary Louise Kelly.

William Evanina holds two official job titles: national counterintelligence executive and director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center.

Eyes glazing over? Here's a simpler way to think of him: as the nation's spy catcher in chief.

As the head of U.S. counterintelligence, Evanina is in charge of keeping America's secrets out of enemy hands. 2016 has proved an exceptionally challenging year, between Russian hacks and another massive data breach at the National Security Agency.

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The world is entering a new cyber era — one with no ground rules, and with the potential for traditional espionage to be "turbocharged" by the Internet, President Obama told NPR in an exclusive interview.

In an interview with President Obama's Homeland Security and counterterrorism adviser, Lisa Monaco, she says the Obama administration may yet respond more forcefully to Russian cyber-intrusions. She also weighs in on U.S. strategy in Syria and advice for her successor in the Trump White House.

Mike Pompeo, a Republican congressman from Kansas and Donald Trump's pick to run the CIA, is no stranger to Russian intrigue.

After graduating first in his class from West Point in 1986, he headed to Europe. There, according to his official bio, he served as a cavalry officer, "patrolling the Iron Curtain before the fall of the Berlin Wall."

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