Washington Post adds to government accountability investigative reporting team

The Washington Post has hired two more reporters for its Ford Foundation-funded government-accountability reporting team.

The new hires:

KIMBRIELL KELLY, who leaves The Chicago Reporter after eight years. “Kimbriell rose from reporter to senior editor to editor to editor and publisher, responsible for the magazine’s strategic vision, editorial content and budget,” says the Post memo.

AMY BRITTAIN has been a Newark Star Ledger investigative reporter since 2010. Before that she interned at the Christian Science Monitor and Arizona Republic, and freelanced for the Times-Picayune. She’s also covered the San Diego Padres for mlb.com. In 2006, at age 19, she was a “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” contestant.

Read the Post memo after the jump.

Subject: Staff News: Two additions to Investigative

We are pleased to announce two additions to join Mike Sallah in bolstering our government accountability investigative reporting mission under the grant we have received from the Ford Foundation:

Kimbriell Kelly comes to us from The Chicago Reporter, a pioneering nonprofit bimonthly magazine with an out-sized reputation for investigative work in the social justice realm. Kimbriell’s 2007 investigation of racially disparate home mortgage lending sparked a lawsuit filed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan that resulted in an $8.7 billion settlement with Countrywide Financial to modify more than 400,000 home loans nationwide. Her work also led to a $335 million discriminatory housing settlement between Countrywide and the U.S. Department of Justice, the nation’s largest fair lending settlement, and a $175 million discriminatory housing settlement between DOJ and mortgage lender Wells Fargo. She has also reported extensively on immigration issues.

She was part of a team that won the Paul Tobenkin Memorial Award, which has been handed out by Columbia University since 1959 to honor outstanding achievements in reporting on racial or religious hatred, intolerance or discrimination in the United States. She has also received a Society of Professional Journalists award from Sigma Delta Chi, the National Clarion Award in magazine feature writing and the Chicago Headline Club Peter Lisagor Award for best investigative reporting.

In eight years at the Reporter, Kimbriell rose from reporter to senior editor to editor to editor and publisher, responsible for the magazine’s strategic vision, editorial content and budget. She also hosted a public affairs TV and radio show. Before joining the Reporter, she was a staff writer at the Daily Herald in Arlington Heights, Ill. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Saint Xavier University in Chicago and a master’s of science in journalism from Boston University. In 2007, she attended the advanced-computer assisted reporting statistics at the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting.

She is married to Solomon Kelly, a computer software engineer. Kimbriell starts this week.

Amy Brittain will be joining us after the first of the year. She comes to us from the Newark Star Ledger, where she has worked as an investigative reporter since 2010. Last year, at age 24, she won the George F. Polk Award for Metropolitan Reporting for her series with Mark Mueller, “Strong at Any Cost,” which detailed the use of anabolic steroids and human growth hormone by hundreds of New Jersey law enforcement officers and firefighters. Her other investigative stories include an ongoing series on the lax oversight of New Jersey’s medical marijuana program, a look at mismanagement of a local baseball team and an examination of a controversial diving horse routine in Atlantic City.

She has also had internships at the Christian Science Monitor and the Arizona Republic and freelanced for the New Orleans Times-Picayune. She wrote 60 game and breaking news stories covering the San Diego Padres for mlb.com in 2009.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Louisiana State University, where she worked for four years for the student newspaper, and as a chief sports writer, covered the resignation of the women’s basketball coach amid allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct with her players. Amy also holds a master’s of science in journalism from Columbia University, where she was a fellow at the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism. She was a finalist in the student category in 2007 in the Investigative Reporters & Editors awards competition and a Scripps Howard Top 10 Scholar, given to the top collegiate journalists in the nation.

In 2006, she appeared as a 19-year-old contestant on Who Wants to be a Millionaire. This winter, she is spending a month in a Moscow newsroom as part of a young journalists exchange program sponsored by the Knight Foundation and the International Center for Journalists.