Michele Kelemen

A former NPR Moscow bureau chief, Michele Kelemen now covers the State Department and Washington's diplomatic corps. Her reports can be heard on all NPR News programs, including Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

In her latest beat, Kelemen has been traveling with Secretary of State John Kerry and Hillary Clinton before him, tracking the Obama administration's broad foreign policy agenda from Asia to the Middle East. She also followed President Bush's Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell and was part of the NPR team that won the 2007 Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award for coverage of the war in Iraq.

As NPR's Moscow bureau chief, Kelemen chronicled the end of the Yeltsin era and Vladimir Putin's consolidation of power. She recounted the terrible toll of the latest war in Chechnya, while also reporting on a lighter side of Russia, with stories about modern day Russian literature and sports.

Kelemen came to NPR in September 1998, after eight years working for the Voice of America. There, she learned the ropes as a news writer, newscaster and show host.

Michele earned her Bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master's degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Russian and East European Affairs and International Economics.

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National Security
4:29 pm
Fri April 3, 2015

Negotiators Work To Sell Skeptics On Iran Nuclear Deal

Originally published on Fri April 3, 2015 6:42 pm

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Afghanistan
5:04 am
Tue March 24, 2015

Afghanistan Still Relies On U.S., President Ghani Reiterates

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 10:10 am

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Middle East
4:38 am
Thu March 12, 2015

Drawn-Out Syrian Civil War Spawns A Literal Dark Age

Girls carrying school bags provided by UNICEF walk past destroyed buildings on their way home from school on March 7 in the rebel-held al-Shaar neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria. So many people have fled the city and so much of its infrastructure has been destroyed that nighttime satellite images show 97 percent less light there compared with four years ago.
Zein al-Rifai AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 12, 2015 11:26 am

The conflict in Syria is entering its fifth year, and two new reports suggest it just keeps getting worse for civilians there.

One United Nations agency says life expectancy has plummeted by 20 years in the once-developed nation, while another new study based on nighttime satellite imagery finds that, in the past four years, 83 percent of the country's lights have gone off.

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Politics
5:01 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

U.N. Report: No Country Has Achieved Equality For Women

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon (in white-and-blue vest) joins other leaders at the 2015 International Women's Day March at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza on March 8 in New York City.
Michael Stewart WireImage/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 11:49 am

Twenty years ago, then first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton made headlines with these words at September 5, 1995, at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing:

"If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference let it be that human rights are women's rights and women's rights are human rights once and for all."

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News
10:58 am
Tue March 3, 2015

After Weeks Of Controversy, Netanyahu Takes The Podium Before Congress

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 12:19 pm

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This morning, members of Congress gathered on Capitol Hill for a major speech.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister of Israel...

(APPLAUSE)

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Latin America
8:04 am
Sat February 28, 2015

More U.S.-Cuba Talks Ahead, Including Human Rights Dialogue

Originally published on Sat February 28, 2015 10:40 am

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Parallels
11:12 am
Thu February 12, 2015

John Kerry Takes A Side Trip Into A Snowstorm

Secretary of State John Kerry arrives at the airport in Munich, Germany, on Feb. 5. On the way back to the U.S., Kerry's plane stopped in Boston during a snowstorm so he could see his new grandchild. Such personal stops are permitted, though they sometimes raise eyebrows.
Sven Hoppe DPA/Landov

On his way home from Europe last Sunday, Secretary of State John Kerry didn't go directly to Washington. He routed his government plane to Boston's Logan Airport, which was battling a major snowstorm.

The plane circled for a half-hour before landing, and was then on the tarmac for about an hour-and-a-half. Kerry's staff and journalists traveling with him remained on board, while the secretary got off to meet his newborn granddaughter. When Kerry got back on board, the plane then proceeded to Washington.

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Europe
5:37 pm
Sat February 7, 2015

How Should U.S., Europe Respond To Russian Aggression?

Originally published on Sat February 7, 2015 9:29 pm

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Europe
7:56 am
Sat February 7, 2015

Ukraine Crisis Tops Agenda At Munich Conference

Originally published on Sat February 7, 2015 11:19 am

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Europe
4:35 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

Kerry Visits Kiev To Show Support For Beleaguered Ukrainian Government

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 6:23 pm

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Latin America
4:37 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

Marco Rubio Challenges Obama Administration's New Approach To Cuba

Originally published on Tue February 3, 2015 7:22 pm

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Latin America
4:28 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Thaw Begins On U.S.-Cuba Relationship Frozen In Time

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 11:25 am

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Middle East
5:31 pm
Sat January 17, 2015

Syrian Opposition Groups Wary Of Russia's Invitation To Moscow

A rebel fighter takes aim during a training session in Eastern al-Ghouta, a rebel-held region outside the capital Damascus, earlier this month. Russia is inviting Syrian opposition groups to peace talks in Moscow, but few of them want to go to a country that supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Abd Doumany AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 17, 2015 6:59 pm

The war in Syria has been raging for nearly four years and it's been challenging for diplomats to get warring sides to agree on even temporary truces.

The U.N. envoy is pressing ahead on that front, while Russia tries to play peacemaker. Russia is inviting the parties to Moscow this month, but some opposition groups won't go to a country that has been backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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Latin America
4:51 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

White House Starts Chipping Away At U.S. Embargo On Cuba

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 6:33 pm

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World
10:17 am
Fri January 9, 2015

Mideast Conflict Could Bog Down International Criminal Court

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has accused Israel of committing war crimes against the Palestinians. The Palestinians have joined the International Criminal Court, a move that has angered Israel and is unlikely to lead to any prosecutions in the near term.
Abbas Momani AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 11, 2015 11:26 am

The Palestinian decision to join the International Criminal Court this month comes at a challenging time for the world's only permanent war crimes tribunal.

The ICC is just over a decade old and has had to back off from some controversial cases, including one in Kenya, where an investigation collapsed into the country's president for election violence. The Hague-based court may have to walk an especially fine line in the Middle East.

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