The NBC News Washington bureau announced some promotions and assignment changes on the justice beat, ahead of Pete Williams’ retirement at the end of July.
Williams has covered the DOJ and the Supreme Court for NBC News for nearly three decades.
Following Williams’ departure, reports TVNewser, NBC News Supreme Court coverage will be led on an interim basis by Kelly O’Donnell, who adds to her responsibilities as Senior White House Correspondent. She will oversee reporting and analysis of SCOTUS until a full-time courts correspondent is hired.
O’Donnell has been covering official Washington for NBC News since the Clinton administration—and her political reporting has taken her around the country, covering every presidential election since 1996.
Williams has received three national news Emmy awards during his career.
In 2012, the University of Wyoming awarded Williams an honorary Doctor of Letters, in recognition of his many contributions to journalism. He was praised for his “sound judgment, fair mindedness, impeccable ethics, and dedication to service.”
Williams was named the recipient of the 2018 John F. Hogan Award, presented annually by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA). The Hogan Award, named after the association’s first president, is given in recognition of “an individual’s contributions to the journalism profession and freedom of the press…” Williams was chosen because “…Over the course of his distinguished career, Pete Williams has served the public first as a government spokesman and then, for the last 25 years, as a reporter covering government,” said Scott Libin, current Chair of RTDNA. “His insight and understanding of power and politics have proven hugely valuable to the viewers of NBC News.”