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
4:43 pm
Thu July 23, 2015

As Iran Awaits Sanctions Relief, U.S. Raises Concerns About Lost Leverage

Originally published on Thu July 23, 2015 5:14 pm

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Parallels
3:21 pm
Tue July 21, 2015

U.S.-Cuba Ties Are Restored, But Most American Tourists Will Have To Wait

American tourists, like these visitors taking a guided tour in May, still have to provide one of 12 authorized reasons — such as visiting family or engaging in humanitarian work — for travel to Cuba.
Desmond Boylan AP

Originally published on Wed July 22, 2015 4:36 pm

The U.S. and Cuba have restored diplomatic relations and reopened their embassies — but it's not yet open season for American tourists hoping to visit the island. The U.S. embargo on travel and business means you still have to have a valid reason to go — and that doesn't include sitting on the beach and drinking mojitos.

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U.S.
3:33 pm
Mon July 20, 2015

Cuban Embassy Reopens In Washington, D.C., After More Than 50 Years

Originally published on Mon July 20, 2015 9:17 pm

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After more than half a century, the U.S. and Cuba have resumed diplomatic ties.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JOHN KERRY: So it's an historic day, a day for removing barriers.

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Parallels
6:44 am
Sat July 18, 2015

Nuke Inspectors Gear Up For Iran, But Americans Unlikely To Be Included

An International Atomic Energy Agency inspector cuts a uranium enrichment connection at Iran's Natanz facility, 200 miles south of Tehran, in 2014. This week's nuclear deal gives the IAEA up to 150 inspectors to monitor Iran for compliance.
Kazem Ghane AP

Originally published on Sun July 19, 2015 10:48 pm

The International Atomic Energy Agency has the big job of making sure Iran complies with the landmark nuclear deal reached this week in Vienna.

So how will the IAEA go about this? How many inspectors will they have? How many will be Americans?

Thomas Shea, who spent more than two decades as an IAEA inspector, says Iran does not accept any American inspectors today. He recently told the Atlantic Council that he hopes that will change.

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Middle East
4:02 am
Thu July 16, 2015

For Families Of Americans Held Or Missing In Iran, Nuclear Deal Is A Loss

Originally published on Thu July 16, 2015 10:03 am

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World
3:31 pm
Tue July 14, 2015

U.N. Security Council Prepares To Implement Iran Nuclear Deal

Originally published on Tue July 14, 2015 6:18 pm

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Exhausted negotiators reached a deal to curb Iran's nuclear program, and now the sales pitches begin in Washington and Tehran. President Obama framed this as a choice between war and peace.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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Politics
3:30 pm
Wed July 8, 2015

Russia Vetoes U.N. Proposal To Call Srebrenica 'Genocide'

Originally published on Wed July 8, 2015 5:34 pm

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Parallels
3:42 am
Wed July 8, 2015

The Spotlight On Darfur Is Gone, But Not The Abuses

A woman and her daughter walk at the Zam Zam camp for internally displaced people in North Darfur, Sudan, in June 2014. The U.S. and other countries have said that Sudan is committing genocide in Darfur, and the United Nations has an ongoing peacekeeping program. But many in the region still live in fear and misery.
Albert Gonzalez Farran AP

Originally published on Wed July 8, 2015 8:34 am

When U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell in 2004 labeled Darfur, Sudan, as this century's first genocide, it was seen as a key test for how well the world could come together to stop mass atrocities.

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Parallels
8:07 am
Sat July 4, 2015

A Reopened Embassy In Havana Could Be A Boon For U.S. Businesses

A fisherman cycles past the U.S. Interests Section building, behind right, in Havana in May.
Desmond Boylan AP

Originally published on Mon July 6, 2015 5:42 pm

When Secretary of State John Kerry goes to Havana to raise a flag over the soon to be reopened embassy this summer, it won't be just an important symbolic moment.

The administration says the U.S. will be able to station more American personnel in Cuba, and that should be a big help in practical terms as more Americans travel to and trade with the Cold War-era foe.

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Politics
3:39 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

U.S., Cuba To Reopen Embassies In Step Toward Normal Relations

Originally published on Wed July 1, 2015 5:22 pm

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World
3:26 pm
Thu June 18, 2015

60 Million People Displaced By World Conflicts, U.N. Refugee Agency Says

Originally published on Thu June 18, 2015 7:58 pm

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Parallels
3:12 pm
Tue June 16, 2015

Of 4 Million Syrian Refugees, The U.S. Has Taken Fewer Than 1,000

Mohammad and Linda Jomaa al-Halabi, along with their five daughters, are among the fewer than 1,000 Syrian refugees who have been resettled in the U.S. They left Syria in August 2012 and arrived last year in Baltimore, where they live now.
Michele Kelemen NPR

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 7:06 pm

Syria's civil war has uprooted millions of people, including 4 million who have fled their homeland. The U.S., a country that has always been a leader in refugee resettlement, has taken in fewer than 1,000 of them.

Now, the United Nations refugee agency is asking the U.S. and other wealthy countries to open their doors to the most vulnerable victims of the conflict that began in 2011.

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Europe
4:20 pm
Fri June 12, 2015

Ukraine Finance Minister Says Economic Success Is Key To Ending Conflict

Originally published on Fri June 12, 2015 7:55 pm

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Middle East
6:37 am
Sat June 6, 2015

U.N.-Led Yemen Peace Talks Are Set For June 14

Originally published on Sat June 6, 2015 11:44 am

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Parallels
1:59 pm
Tue June 2, 2015

Families Appeal To Congress, Call For Release Of Americans Held In Iran

Family members of Americans held or missing in Iran attend a hearing of the Foreign Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. From left: Ali Rezaian, brother of Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian; Nagameh Abedini, wife of Saeed Abedini; Sarah Hekmati, sister of Amir Hekmati; and Daniel Levinson, son of Robert Levinson.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 2, 2015 5:35 pm

After hearing testimony from four families, U.S. lawmakers passed a resolution calling on Iran to release three jailed Americans and provide information about a former FBI agent who disappeared in Iran in 2007.

As the June 30 deadline for a nuclear deal with Iran approaches, the families say it's time for the U.S. to push hard on this issue.

Among those who spoke Tuesday before a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee was Daniel Levinson, son of former FBI agent Robert Levinson.

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