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
3:45 am
Tue July 22, 2014

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

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 7:13 am

Secretary of State John Kerry is in Cairo trying to help forge a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

Politics
4:14 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Kerry Accuses Senate Of Hobbling American Diplomacy

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 10:09 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now, this next story grows out of the Separation of Powers Clause of the Constitution. The document says the president nominates ambassadors who take office with the advice and consent of the Senate. In many cases, President Obama's choices have not received Senate consent.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The administration has complained about the strategic effect of so many unfilled posts abroad. There's also a personal cost. More than 50 diplomats are awaiting confirmation.

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World
3:20 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

In Trafficking Report, A Stark Warning About Thai Fishing Industry

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 6:08 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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Environment
3:06 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

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

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 7:33 pm

Transcript

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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Environment
4:37 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Kerry Gathers World Players To Focus On Protecting Oceans

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 8:45 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Government officials, scientists and business leaders from more than 80 countries are gathering at the State Department today and tomorrow. They're there to figure out ways to protect the world's oceans and commercial fisheries. Secretary of State John Kerry says this is an issue he's been working on for a long time, as NPR's Michele Kelemen reports.

MICHELE KELEMEN, BYLINE: When Secretary Kerry talks about his hopes for this conference he reaches back deep into his childhood in Massachusetts.

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Iraq
3:02 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

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

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 6:43 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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World
3:08 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

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

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 7:03 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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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World
3:54 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Russia, China Block U.N. Effort To Investigate Syrian War Crimes

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 5:46 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Russia and China used their veto powers today at the U.N. Security Council. They blocked a resolution that would have sent the crisis in Syria to the International Criminal Court. More than 160,000 people have died in Syria's civil war. And the United States accused Moscow of aiding impunity with its veto. But Moscow's ambassador called the whole U.N. resolution a publicity stunt.

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Europe
4:21 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Keeping Watch On Ukraine As It Prepares To Elect A President

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 10:43 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

Amid much turmoil, Ukraine is set to hold a presidential election this Sunday. It will be complicated in parts of Eastern Ukraine now under the control of pro-Russian separatists who say voting won't happen in those areas. International election observers are converging on the country in the hope that the vote will help Ukraine turn a corner.

NPR's Michele Kelemen reports.

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Middle East
3:05 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

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

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 6:26 pm

Transcript

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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