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.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the bruising budget battles in Washington are "casting a pall" over US diplomacy abroad and may hurt America's ability to influence events at a crucial moment in the Middle East.

Clinton joined Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at the National Defense University in Washington on Tuesday to appeal to Congress to come up with a budget deal that doesn't undercut U.S. national security interests.

How can you feed starving people without feeding an insurgency as well? That is one of the challenges the Obama administration faces in providing aid to Somalia.

As the U.S. and other donors scramble to help Somalis survive a famine, some experts see an opportunity of sorts. The drought, they say, seems to be starving the Islamist militia group al-Shabaab of resources, limiting its ability to wreak havoc in Somalia.

U.S. officials are sounding increasingly frustrated that they and other big donors can't mount the kind of humanitarian operation that is needed in Somalia. Violence in Mogadishu this week is just the latest of their troubles.

Aid work is never easy, but the troubles add up quickly in a conflict zone like Somalia, says Assistant Secretary of State Eric Schwartz.

Negotiating Palestinian statehood was an early priority for President Obama's administration. But these days, U.S. diplomats are spending much of their time trying to stop the Palestinians from going to the United Nations to try to win diplomatic recognition.

Palestinians say they have no other choice, since negotiations are deadlocked.

Some former Israeli officials came to Washington this week to urge the U.S. to help.

Now that the U.S. has recognized the rebel government in Libya, the Transitional National Council, as it is known, wants access to the country's frozen assets. The rebel representative in Washington, D.C., also wants his office back; until earlier this year, Ali Aujali was the Libyan ambassador, but he hasn't been able to get back into his office for months.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other top diplomats are gathering in Istanbul this week to talk about Libya amid fresh optimism that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi may be looking for a way out.

French officials have said that the Gadhafi regime is "sending messengers everywhere" to explore ways to end the conflict. U.S. officials have suggested that his regime is suffering from low morale and is running out of supplies.

Before setting off to Istanbul, Clinton told reporters that she has seen "contradictory signals" from Gadhafi's camp.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday urged African countries to break with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and pressure him to stop attacking civilians. During a trip to Ethiopia, she also called on the north and south of Sudan to quickly resolve their differences – as Southern Sudan prepares to become the world's newest country.

Clinton, the first secretary of state to visit the African Union's headquarters, came with a message that regional leaders should learn something from the Arab uprisings.

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.

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.