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 Hillary Clinton from Asia to the Middle East and Europe, tracking the Obama administration's broad foreign policy agenda. She also followed the two previous 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 and the tragedy of the sinking of the nuclear submarine Kursk. She also brought to listeners 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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8:00am

Sun June 12, 2011
Africa

Clinton's Africa Tour Underscores The Power Of Women

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is touring U.S. aid projects in Tanzania Sunday, part of her big push to have women and girls at the center of development efforts in Africa. Food security is another key issue, as rising food prices spark fears of instability. NPR's Michele Kelemen reports.

4:59pm

Thu June 9, 2011
Conflict In Libya

Clinton Urges Preparation For A Post-Gadhafi Libya

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's days are numbered, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told an international conference on Libya on Thursday, and the U.S. and others need to prepare for a post-Gadhafi Libya.

Diplomats from more than 20 nations met in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, to discuss the endgame and to boost support for the opposition.

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5:34pm

Fri May 27, 2011
Middle East

Change Appears Inevitable In Syria, Analysts Say

U.N. Security Council diplomats have been studying a draft resolution condemning Syria for its deadly crackdown on demonstrators protesting the rule of President Bashar Assad. As the crisis drags on and the Security Council weighs its options, U.S. policymakers are trying to plan for what might come next. In Washington, there is a growing sense that Assad's rule is coming to an end.

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2:50pm

Thu May 26, 2011
Middle East

U.S. Concern Grows As Turmoil In Yemen Drags On

The United States is pulling some of its embassy staff out of Yemen amid a bloody political crisis there. Yemen's longtime leader, President Ali Abdullah Saleh, is refusing to step aside, and clashes have erupted in the capital city of Sanaa.

The U.S. is worried not only about the safety of Americans there, but also about what instability in Yemen means for counterterrorism efforts against al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP.

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4:32am

Tue May 24, 2011
Middle East

Mideast Peace Deal 'Must Leave Israel With Security'

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks before a joint meeting of Congress on Tuesday. He's promising to lay out a vision for peace with the Palestinians, but there are no signs that Israelis and Palestinians are ready to talk to each other.

On the eve of his appearance before Congress, Netanyahu gave a bit of a preview to more than 10,000 supporters at the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the pro-Israel lobby known as AIPAC.

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4:00am

Fri May 20, 2011
Middle East

Obama Uses Speech To Support Democratic Change

President Obama is to host Israel's Prime Minister at the White House Friday — a day after calling on Israel to take bold steps for peace with the Palestinians. Obama spelled out some details for what a peace deal might look like. He also used Thursday's speech at the State Department to talk about how the U.S. is supporting democratic change in a tumultuous time for north Africa and the Middle East.

12:01am

Mon May 16, 2011
Middle East

Obama Pressed To Get Mideast Peace Talks Moving

President Obama's speechwriters have been working on their latest message to the Arab and Muslim world. The administration has been struggling to come up with a consistent response to the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa. The president also is under pressure from some quarters to do more to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict as well.

All that will be on his agenda as he plays host this week to Jordan's King Abdullah and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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3:00pm

Fri May 13, 2011
World

George Mitchell Resigns

George Mitchell is resigning as the Obama administration's point man for Mideast peace talks, after failing to sustain direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. The announcement comes just days before the president meets with two Mideast leaders in Washington.

12:01am

Fri May 13, 2011
Africa

Rebel Leader Asks U.S. For Frozen Libya Funds

Mahmoud Jibril of the Libyan Transitional National Council talks with reporters after meeting with members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

A top representative of the Libyan opposition is making the rounds in Washington, including a planned visit to the White House on Friday.

Mahmoud Jibril is the prime minister of the so-called Transitional National Council. His goal is to persuade the United States to recognize the body as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people — and to give it some of the Libyan money the U.S. has frozen.

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7:49am

Sat April 30, 2011
World

UN-Led Syria Probe A Win For U.S. Diplomacy

The Obama administration is slowly ratcheting up pressure on Syria, slapping more targeted sanctions on some top officials — including the brother of President Bashar al-Assad.

The U.S. and its partners failed to get the UN Security Council to even agree to a press statement on the Syrian government crackdown on protesters, but it fared better in the UN Human Rights Council, which voted Friday to launch an investigation.

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4:17pm

Wed April 13, 2011
World

U.S. Attempting To Reignite Israel-Palestinian Talks

The Obama administration is trying to head off a Palestinian effort to seek recognition at the United Nations — the U.S. would rather see a negotiated settlement.

Last year, talks that the Obama administration launched came to a grinding halt over the issue of Israeli settlement-building in the West Bank. The Palestinians' Plan B is to look to the United Nations for help.

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4:06pm

Fri April 8, 2011
World

Clinton Has Tough Words For China On Human Rights

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had some tough words for China today — amid a crackdown on dissent there.

She unveiled the department's 35th annual human-rights report saying the struggle for human rights begins by telling the truth — and in China that means highlighting the plight of political prisoners, who are growing in number.

As he was putting the final touches on this year's human-rights report, the State Department's point person on the issue, Michael Posner, said that China is the country that keeps him awake at night.

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5:23am

Fri April 8, 2011
Digital Life

U.S. Eyes Global Internet Freedoms

The State Department's point person on human rights says his office is in a "cat and mouse" game with authoritarian governments that are trying to restrict free speech on the Internet.

"We are trying to stay ahead of the curve and to provide technology, training and diplomatic support to allow people to freely express their views," Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner told a group of reporters at the State Department this week.

Internet freedoms will be one focus on this year's Human Rights report, which the State Department is releasing Friday.

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4:00am

Thu April 7, 2011
World

U.N. Chief On Africa Clashes: 'Doing Our Proper Work'

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is in Washington on Thursday, making the rounds on Capitol Hill in hopes that the U.N. won't fall victim too much to U.S. budget cuts. His trip comes at a time when the U.N. has become more assertive, both in Libya and in the Ivory Coast.

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