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.


Middle East
4:11 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Iran's President Rouhani To Address U.N. For 1st Time

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 8:13 am



This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm David Greene.


And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. Let's talk through President Obama's speech just now at the United Nations. The president addressed the annual meeting of the General Assembly, a big room full of diplomats and world leaders. He called for action to enforce the removal of Syria's chemical weapons, and he also spoke of negotiations with Iran, among other issues. NPR's Michele Kelemen is at the United Nations. She was listening in.

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1:25 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

Will The U.S. Grant A Visa To Sudan's Indicted Leader?

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, who faces genocide charges, has applied for a visa to come to the U.S. for the annual United Nations General Assembly next week. The U.S. has not yet said whether he'll be allowed in the country.
Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 7:09 pm

As the host of the United Nations, the U.S. is supposed to let everyone come to the annual U.N. General Assembly, not just the people it likes.

But this year, the proposition is being put to the test. Sudan's president, Omar al-Bashir, was indicted three years ago by the International Criminal Court on genocide charges stemming from the mass killings in Sudan's western Darfur region.

Bashir has also applied for a visa to the U.N. meetings next week.

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3:12 am
Mon September 16, 2013

U.S. Allies Meet In Paris On Syria Plan

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 7:26 am



It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.


I'm David Greene. Good morning. A diplomatic deal between the United States and Russia addresses a crisis over Syria, but does not end that crisis. The two powers agreed that Syria should quickly surrender its chemical weapons.

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4:47 pm
Sat September 14, 2013

U.S.-Russia Deal: Syria Has A Week To Detail Chemical Arsenal

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 5:15 pm



It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.

The U.S. and Russia have agreed on a plan to get rid of Syria's chemical weapons by the middle of next year. Secretary of State John Kerry calls it an ambitious timetable but says he's confident the international community can keep the pressure on Syria to comply. President Obama welcomed the agreement but says the U.S. remains prepared to act should the diplomatic route fail.

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Middle East
6:47 am
Sat September 14, 2013

U.S., Russia Reach Agreement On Syria

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 10:28 am

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Saturday they have reached an agreement on a framework for Syria to destroy all of its chemical weapons. Michele Kelemen speaks with host Scott Simon.

Middle East
3:58 am
Fri September 13, 2013

U.S. And Russia Hammer Out Plan For Syria's Chemical Weapons

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov resume meetings in Geneva on Friday. The talks are aimed at working out the details of a program in which Syria's Bashar Assad would give up his chemical weapons.

The U.S. Response To Syria
5:05 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Senate Waits On Possible Diplomatic Solution In Syria

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 9:14 pm

The U.S. and its allies await details of Russia's proposal to place Syria's chemical weapons arsenal under UN supervision. Meanwhile, senior Obama administration officials are continuing to press for congressional approval of a potential military strike against the Bashar al-Assad regime for its alleged use of chemical weapons in August.

3:57 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Russia Calls On Syria To Give Up Chemical Weapons

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 4:20 pm



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


And I'm Audie Cornish.

We begin this hour with an unexpected twist in the story of Syria and its alleged use of chemical weapons. Russia is now urging Syria to give up its stockpile to avoid a U.S. military strike. Though the offer appears to be in response to a comment this morning from the secretary of state, NPR's Michele Kelemen reports the U.S. is skeptical.

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Middle East
6:23 am
Sat September 7, 2013

Russia To U.S.: Follow U.N. Rules On Syria

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 12:01 pm



Russian officials warn the U.S. that it would be illegal to launch a military strike against Syria without getting U.N. approval. The Obama administration says there's just no chance of that because Russia has blocked the Security Council from anything action on Syria for the past two and a half years. NPR's Michele Kelemen reports.

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Middle East
4:08 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Critics Say U.S. Strikes Would Delay Syrian Transitional Talks

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 5:58 am



The objective of an American strike on Syria appears to be evolving. Days ago, White House officials insisted their goal was to respond to the use of chemical weapons, not to intervene in Syria's civil war. But it's always been quietly understood that doing one thing could easily affect the other, and that has become more explicit in recent days.

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