NBC News White House correspondent Kelly O’Donnell has been elected president of the White House Correspondents Association for the 2023-’24 term.
However, earning the win wasn’t easy. There was a tie in the race for an At-Large seat for 2021-’24 between O’Donnell and Politico White House correspondent Anita Kumar (191 to 191), and WHCA rules say a presidential candidate must win a board seat before they can take the office.
As a result, The White House Correspondents Association board was forced to come together Wednesday night in order to break the tie and by a vote of 7-2, O’Donnell won the seat over Kumar, thus clearing the way for the NBC Newser to assume the presidency in a couple years.
Associated Press White House correspondent Zeke Miller is the president of the association through the end of this year. CBS News Radio White House correspondent Steven Portnoy will be president for the 2021-’22 term, and NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith will serve as president from 2022-’23, before O’Donnell takes over.
O’Donnell has spent 27 years at NBC News. One of her career highlights happened in 2019, when she became the first woman to ever receive a Radio and Television Correspondents’ Association Career Achievement Award for Distinguished Reporting on Congress.
Adweek chief content officer Lisa Granatstein spoke with O’Donnell back in 2019 for Adweek’s Inside the Brand: Women Trailblazers feature:
Adweek: What pivotal moment throughout your career most stands out in your mind?
O’Donnell: It’s hard to choose just one, but more recently I recall the weight of the moment when I broke the news that Hillary Clinton had conceded the presidential race in a phone call to Donald Trump. That one act, steeped in the history of campaigns, is riveting because it so captures a final and consequential point when a long, costly and emotional campaign journey for the country ends. The concession call brings peak emotions to each side. I felt the impact of all of that energy and emotion as I reported that news. I could feel the giant page turning.