Los Angeles Times Names Kimbriell Kelly Next Washington Bureau Chief

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Executive Editor, Norman Pearlstine, Managing Editor, Scott Kraft and Deputy Managing Editor, Shani O. Hilton, made the following announcement.

Dear Colleagues,

When David Lauter first spoke to me 16 months ago about his desire to bring Kimbriell Kelly to the Los Angeles Times from the Washington Post, he said he saw her as a future leader and potential successor. Since joining The Times, Kimbriell has confirmed David’s assessment while exceeding our high expectations. That’s why we are delighted to announce that Kimbriell will succeed David on Nov. 4 – the day after the election – as our Washington bureau chief. At that time, following a decade of spectacular work leading the bureau, David will take on a new role as The Times’ senior Washington correspondent.

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

Kimbriell’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.

It takes all of that to merit succeeding David, who held the bureau together during turbulent times and then started the process of rebuilding, making a series of smart hires while doubling the bureau’s size since Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong acquired The Times in June 2018.

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. “It’s been an honor and a pleasure to lead such a talented group of journalists,” David says. “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.”

Kimbriell joined the Post as an investigative reporter 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.

David 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 our 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.

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