Kelly McEvers

After three years covering the Middle East for NPR, Kelly McEvers is taking on a new country: the U.S. In the fall of 2013, she will become a correspondent for NPR's National Desk.

Previous to this role, she was NPR's international correspondent based in Beirut, Lebanon. Prior to moving into that reporting location in January 2012, McEvers was based at NPR's Baghdad Bureau.

In 2011, she traveled undercover to follow Arab uprisings in places where brutal crackdowns quickly followed the early euphoria of protests. While colleagues were celebrating with protesters in Egypt or rebels in Libya, McEvers was hunkered down with underground activists in Bahrain, Yemen, and Syria. She has been tear-gassed in Bahrain; she has spent a night in a tent city with a Yemeni woman who would later share the Nobel Peace Prize; and she has spent long hours with the shadowy group of anti-government rebels known as the Free Syrian Army.

In Iraq, she covered the final withdrawal of U.S. troops and the political chaos that has gripped the country since. Before arriving in Iraq in 2010, McEvers was one of the first Western correspondents to be based, full-time, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She also covered Yemen and other Persian Gulf countries.

In 2008 and 2009, McEvers was part of a team that produced the award-winning "Working" series for American Public Media's business and finance show, Marketplace. She filed sound-rich profiles of a war fixer in Beirut, a smuggler in Dubai, a sex-worker in Baku, a pirate in the Strait of Malacca and a marriage broker in Vietnam.

From 2004-2006, McEvers covered the former Soviet Union for PRI's The World. She investigated the Russian military's role in the violent end to the three-day school siege by Chechen militants in the Russian town of Beslan. She was later accused of spying and detained for three days by Russian security forces near the border with Chechnya.

After 9/11, McEvers covered Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore for NPR and other outlets — including in-depth stories on Jemaah Islamiyah, the region's Al Qaeda-linked terrorist network that planned and executed deadly attacks at two Bali nightclubs in 2002.

McEvers was based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia from 1999-2000 for the BBC World Service. From there, she filed her first NPR story on then-emerging plans to try former members of the Khmer Rouge. She is one of the first reporters to knock on the door of Nuon Chea, the so-called "Brother No. 2" who served under Pol Pot.

Beginning her journalism career in 1997 at the Chicago Tribune, McEvers worked as a metro reporter and spent nearly a year documenting the lives of female gang members for the Sunday magazine.

In addition to NPR, her radio work has appeared on PRI/Chicago Public Radio's This American Life, NPR's Hearing Voices and On the Media, American Public Media's Weekend America, and the CBC. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Foreign Policy, The New Republic, The New York Review of Books Online, The Washington Monthly, and the San Francisco Chronicle. She is a founder of Six Billion, an online magazine that was a regular feature at Harvard University's Nieman Conference on Narrative Journalism.

McEvers served as a fellow with the International Reporting Project at the Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies. She earned a master's degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and has been a professor of journalism at universities in the U.S. and abroad. She has a bachelor's in English literature and political science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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3:44pm

Tue July 19, 2011
Iraq

Fiery Iraqi Cleric's Political Party Puts On New Face

At a recent press conference, Iraq's minister of planning, Ali Youssef al-Shukri, stepped to the podium, gave a brief and somber blessing, and announced the issue of the day: a new mechanism for quality control of imports to Iraq.

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3:37pm

Mon July 11, 2011
Iraq

Dispute Over Key Jobs Stalls Iraq's Government

Iraqi demonstrators shout slogans during a weekly protest against corruption, unemployment and poor public services in the war-torn country at Baghdad's Tahrir Square on July 8. Mahmoud Othman, a Kurdish member of Parliament, says it's the Iraqi people who are losing out as a political stalemate continues.
Ali al-Saadi AFP/Getty Images

Even though it's been nearly eight months since political rivals in Iraq came together to form a coalition government, key positions in that government have yet to be filled, and political infighting continues.

At issue is the fact that Iraq's prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, who's backed by the country's Shiites, and his main rival, Ayad Allawi, who's backed by the Sunnis, simply cannot agree on who should run the ministries of defense and interior.

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4:00am

Fri June 3, 2011
Middle East

Bahrain Accuses Doctors Of Exaggerating Protesters Injuries

Bahrain officially ended a period of martial law this week after mass uprisings nearly shut down the country in February and March. But armored vehicles still patrol the streets, military courts are still in place, and hundreds of people remain in detention. Among the detainees are elected officials, opposition members and even doctors who are accused of treating protesters. NPR's Kelly McEvers reports on how the detention of the upper-middle class is broadening the opposition, not suppressing it.

10:17am

Thu June 2, 2011
Middle East

Bahrain's Crackdown Creates Sectarian Fallout

The Mo'men mosque in Nwaidrat stood in the same location for generations until it was bulldozed last month. The Sunni-run government in Bahrain has destroyed at least 47 Shiite mosques in recent weeks.
Roy Gutman MCT/Getty Images

The mass protest movement that swept Bahrain in February and March has since turned into a bitter sectarian confrontation. The tiny island nation — a key U.S. ally in the Persian Gulf — is mostly populated by Shiites, but it's ruled by a Sunni royal family.

Analysts say the family is now pushing a sectarian agenda that might eventually be its undoing.

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4:00am

Wed June 1, 2011
Middle East

Bahrain Prepares To Lift State Of Emergency

The government of Bahrain today is expected to lift a state of emergency that was declared at the height of the anti-government protests in March. Mary Louise Kelly talks to NPR's Kelly McEvers about the situation in Bahrain.

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