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
4:21 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 5:36 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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Parallels
7:44 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 11:48 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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Parallels
4:42 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 9:34 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
9:07 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 6:42 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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Parallels
4:12 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 8:06 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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