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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4:56pm

Wed August 20, 2014
Parallels

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

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 8:35 pm

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

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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4:09pm

Fri August 15, 2014
Middle East

U.S. Policy On Syria Marked By Caution, Official Says

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 4:24 pm

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4:05pm

Tue August 12, 2014
Africa

South Sudan's Leaders Jostle For Power As Prospect Of Famine Looms

Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 9:45 pm

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This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

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4:51pm

Thu August 7, 2014
Africa

At Africa Summit, South Sudanese President Resents Pressure From U.S.

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 6:43 pm

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4:18pm

Mon August 4, 2014
Africa

Africa Summit To Tackle Food Stability And Climate Change

Originally published on Mon August 4, 2014 7:09 pm

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8:50am

Sun August 3, 2014
Europe

U.S.-Russia Relations: More Carrot Or More Stick?

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 1:02 pm

A pro-Russian fighter guards the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine on July 19, 2014. Ukraine said the passenger plane was shot down as it flew over the country, killing all 298 people on board.
Evgeniy Maloletka AP

The U.S. and Russia seem to have fallen into a pattern over the crisis in Ukraine. When Washington ratchets up the pressure on Moscow, Russia doubles down on its support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

That has been the case even after a Malaysian airliner was shot down over a separatist held region, and many wonder if it's time for a new approach to Vladimir Putin's Russia.

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4:59am

Wed July 30, 2014
World

U.S., EU Try To Turn Up The Heat On Russia

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 8:07 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

4:08pm

Wed July 23, 2014
Middle East

Kerry Claims Progress In Gaza Cease-Fire Talks

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 10:36 pm

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4:14pm

Tue July 22, 2014
Middle East

In Cairo, First Steps Taken On Gnarled Path To Gaza Cease-Fire

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 8:17 pm

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now to Cairo, where Secretary of State John Kerry and other diplomats are trying to bring an end to the fighting between Israel and Hamas. Kerry made a brief public statement today. He said the talks have been constructive but there's more work to do.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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5:25am

Tue July 22, 2014
Middle East

Kerry's Aim In Egypt: First, Get Israel And Hamas To Cease Fire

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 1:13 pm

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The death toll continues to climb as Israel presses on with its ground operation in Gaza.

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4:50pm

Fri June 20, 2014
World

In Trafficking Report, A Stark Warning About Thai Fishing Industry

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 7:08 pm

The U.S. state department has issued its annual report on human trafficking. According to the report, Thailand, Malaysia and Venezuela have not been doing enough to combat modern slavery. And the report includes a warning to American importers of seafood: Clean up supply chains that include Thailand, where fish may be caught or processed using slave labor.

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4:06pm

Tue June 17, 2014
Environment

White House Plans To Mark Off World's Largest Ocean Sanctuary

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 8:33 pm

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MELISSA BLOCK, BYLINE: This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. President Obama is once again exercising his executive authority for an environmental cause. Today he announced plans to create the world's largest marine preserve. His proposal came in a video shown at the State Department's "Our Ocean" conference. The White House says it will seek input from fisherman, scientists, and other experts before setting boundaries for the preserve. NPR's Michele Kelemen has our story.

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4:02pm

Thu June 12, 2014
Iraq

As Iraq Comes Apart At The Seams, Washington Weighs What To Do

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 7:43 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

We now return to NPR's Michele Kelemen on how the White House is weighing its options in aiding Iraq and its Confrontation with ISIS extremist and finding limited options.

MICHELE KELEMEN, BYLINE: For those experts who argued that the U.S. should have tried harder to reach an agreement with Iraq to leave some troops there rather than pull out completely in 2011 this is their nightmare scenario. Retired Army officer Rick Brennan did a study for the RAND Corporation that showed that Iraqi security forces just weren't ready.

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4:08pm

Tue June 3, 2014
World

Russia Takes Helm Of UN Security Council, Turns Focus On Ukraine

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 8:03 pm

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Russia holds the presidency at the United Nations Security Council at the moment. That role rotates monthly. And this is shaping up to be a month of high diplomatic drama. Russia's ambassador is trying to keep the council focused on Ukraine. He's calling for humanitarian corridors to provide aid the east of the country. The U.S. and other council members accused Russia of hypocrisy. And they plan to focus on other humanitarian concerns like Syria. Here is NPR's Michele Kelemen.

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4:05pm

Tue May 13, 2014
Middle East

Frustrations Defeat Another Diplomat, As U.N. Syria Envoy Quits

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 7:26 pm

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. The conflict in Syria now in its 4th year, and a diplomatic solution seems as far off as ever. The international diplomat who's been trying to lead negotiations announced he's stepping down. It's a new sign of just how bad things are Syria. And as NPR's Michele Kelemen reports, there doesn't seem to be a plan B.

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