Washington Week

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Kelly O'Donnell

Kelly O’Donnell is a veteran political correspondent currently working a Pennsylvania Avenue beat for NBC News reporting from both the White House and Capitol Hill.  During campaign season 2016, O’Donnell followed numerous candidates in both parties in the long, contested primary season.  She was the only NBC News correspondent assigned to report on the campaigns of both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.  Traveling more than one hundred thousand miles around the country’s battlegrounds gave O’Donnell unusual insight and context about the political landscape of an extraordinary year.  O’Donnell broke a number of stories including the election night bulletin that Hillary Clinton had conceded to Donald Trump, the Democratic National Committee’s removal of its own party chairwoman at the convention and the secret visit of Gov. Mike Pence to interview with Donald Trump to become his running mate.

O’Donnell’s reporting has taken her to all 50 states and to 48 countries.  From the Rose Garden to Baghdad, four Olympic Games to Capitol Hill, the scope of her assignments is uncommon.

O’Donnell has covered six presidential cycles and White House duty reporting on three presidents: George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump. Her Capitol Hill reporting tracked the extended battle over health care, the rise of the Tea Party movement, the government shutdown, Supreme Court nominations and bipartisan brinksmanship.  She has reported on the speakerships of Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner and Paul Ryan

O’Donnell has covered numerous international stories.  In Belgium, she covered the deadly terrorist attack at Brussels airport. In Iraq, she was embedded with the Third Infantry Division during operations in Fallujah in 2003. Among her varied experiences: she covered Britain’s Royal family including Queen Elizabeth’s 50th Jubilee, followed Pope John Paul II on international tours. Domestic stories included the September 11th attacks, the Oklahoma City bombing and the OJ Simpson saga.

Among many honors, O'Donnell’s work on the 2008 presidential election earned an Emmy and National Headliner Award.  She received the 2009 New Hampshire Primary Award for political reporting.  O’Donnell was inducted into the Ohio Radio/Television Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2004. She has been honored with dozens of Emmy nominations.

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