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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Middle East
4:31 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 5:59 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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World
9:17 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 10:26 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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U.S.
9:51 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Cuba, U.S. Agree To Prisoner Release Including American Alan Gross

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 10:29 am

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Africa
3:16 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Restrictive Government Makes Fighting Sexual Assault Hard In Egypt

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 8:38 am

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Parallels
4:13 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Iraq's Yazidis Appeal For Help In Finding Their Missing Women

Iraqi Yazidi women who fled the violence in the northern Iraq take shelter in the city of Dohuk on Aug. 5. The Yazidis, are a small community that follows an ancient faith and have been repeatedly targeted by jihadists. Yazidi leaders say several thousands members of the community have gone missing in recent months.
Safin Hamed AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 4, 2014 5:32 pm

When the Islamic State took over large parts of northern Iraq this summer, including the areas where the minority Yazidi community lives, the U.S. carried out air strikes and halted the advance of the extremists.

Still, thousands of Yazidi women and girls have gone missing over the past few months and there are now reports they are being sold by the Islamic State as sex slaves.

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Asia
4:27 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

North Korea Allows Detained American To Leave

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 6:01 am

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Europe
4:01 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Ahead Of Iran Nuclear Talks, Kerry Meets With Russia's Lavrov

Originally published on Wed October 15, 2014 1:18 pm

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Middle East
4:11 am
Mon October 13, 2014

Meeting In Cairo, Nations Pledge $5.4 Billion To Rebuild Gaza

Originally published on Mon October 13, 2014 8:42 am

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Europe
4:33 am
Mon October 6, 2014

From Exile In Switzerland, Ex-Tycoon Relaunches Open Russia

Originally published on Mon October 6, 2014 11:32 am

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Parallels
3:17 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

In Syria, The U.S. Weighs A Range Of Unpalatable Options

Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar Assad walk along a street in Mleiha, near the Damascus airport, during a tour organized by the Syrian government on Aug. 15.
Omar Sanadiki Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 7:35 pm

President Obama said Wednesday that the Islamic State is a cancer that threatens all governments in the Middle East. But that raises the question of what the U.S. could or should do.

Two former U.S. ambassadors to Syria, Robert Ford and Ryan Crocker, have advocated different approaches to a conflict where there are many different options. But none is appealing and there's no guarantee, or even a likelihood that U.S. action would ultimately determine the outcome.

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