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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Parallels
4:11 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Will Progress On Nuke Talks Mean More Engagement From Iran?

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Nov. 24 in Geneva, after the announcement of a deal halting parts of Iran's nuclear program.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 8:01 pm

The U.S. and other major powers have been holding historic negotiations with Iran to try to curb that country's nuclear program. But Washington still has many other concerns about Iranian behavior. And while some diplomats may hope to build on the nuclear talks to push Iran to play a more constructive role in the region, experts remain skeptical.

Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace says there are a couple of ways to look at the negotiations with Iran.

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Africa
4:29 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

U.N. Weighs Response To Central African Republic Conflict

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 4:56 pm

World powers are scrambling to get a hold of a crisis in Central African Republic that U.N. officials have warned could lead to genocide. The nation slipped into bloody anarchy after rebels ousted the president in March.

Politics
3:32 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

John Kerry: Risk Ready And Looking For A Legacy

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 7:50 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Secretary of State John Kerry will have to work hard to allay concerns about the Iran deal, concerns from U.S. allies, including Saudi Arabia and Israel. And as Melissa just mentioned, the White House faces criticism from some in Congress. Kerry will need to convince senators not to impose additional sanctions on Iran so that negotiators can come up with a comprehensive deal over the next six months. As NPR's Michele Kelemen reports, Kerry seems to be well positioned to take on the challenges.

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Middle East
3:55 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Selling Iran Deal To Congress, Kerry Downplays Israeli Criticism

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 8:02 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. This could be a big week for diplomacy with Iran. The U.S. and other world powers are sending diplomats back to Geneva. They're hoping to persuade Iran to roll back some of its nuclear program, in exchange for limited sanctions relief. One key U.S. ally is not happy about that. Israel calls it a bad deal, and is urging the U.S. to stand tough.

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NPR Story
3:52 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Kerry's New Mission: Convince Congress To Take Iran Deal

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 4:56 pm

Secretary of State John Kerry is back in Washington to defend the proposed nuclear deal with Iran to skeptical members of Congress. He and his colleagues from other major powers failed to reach a deal with Iran during talks over the weekend in Geneva. Iran blames France's hard line for blowing up the deal, though Kerry has tried to downplay that.

Africa
3:51 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

DRC Rebels' Surrender Could Mark New Chapter In U.N. Peacekeeping

Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 4:52 pm

There's been a rare bit of good news in Eastern Congo this month. One of the rebel groups that have terrorized civilians in the mineral rich part of the the Democratic Republic of Congo agreed to end its rebellion. There's still a lot of work to do to disarm the M23 and to keep other rebel movements in check. But this small victory is a boost for U.N. peacekeepers, who are under a new, tougher mandate to protect civilians in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Some experts wonder if this could be a new model for peacekeeping.

Europe
4:30 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Russian LGBT Activists Visit Washington To Drum Up Support

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 7:08 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish at NPR West in California.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block in Washington, D.C. Russian gay rights activists are making the rounds here in the nation's capital. They want the U.S. to keep up pressure on Moscow ahead of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. They're not calling for a boycott. As NPR's Michele Kelemen reports, they want to raise awareness about anti-gay discrimination in Russia.

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Parallels
2:17 am
Mon November 4, 2013

Syria's Moderate Rebels Fight A Battle On Two Fronts

A Syrian fighter from the Islamist rebel group Jabhat al-Nusra inspects a resident's identification papers at a checkpoint in Aleppo on Oct. 26. Syria's Islamist fighters are generally better funded than their more moderate counterparts.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 4:28 pm

Like many Syrian exiles, Murhaf Jouejati, a professor at National Defense University, is frustrated by U.S. policy toward Syria. He says there's been only a trickle of U.S. aid to the secular, nationalist opposition in Syria, while the Islamists have no trouble raising money through their networks in the Arab world.

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NPR Story
4:11 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Obama To Meet With Iraqi Leader On Military Aid

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 5:46 am

President Obama meets at the White House on Friday with visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Maliki is planning to ask for more military aid to deal with the growing insurgency in Iraq.

NPR Story
4:17 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Drones On Agenda In Pakistan PM-Obama White House Meeting

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 5:43 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

President Obama is trying to turn the page with Pakistan. It's been two years since tensions boiled over after the U.S. operation that killed Osama bin Laden. So, today, the president met with Pakistan's new prime minister and raised hopes that the countries can work together to fight terrorism.

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