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.



Tue May 31, 2011
Middle East

Women The Latest Target Of Bahrain's Crackdown

Thousands of anti-government protesters gathered at Bahrain's Pearl Roundabout in the capital Manama in mid-February. On March 18, the government demolished the monument.
Adam Jan/AFP/Getty

For the past two and a half months, the government of Bahrain has cracked down brutally on opposition figures who led massive anti-government protests in February and March. Doctors, journalists, human rights workers and even elected officials have been detained and beaten.

The government's most recent targets are women.

"They took me from my work," one woman says. "And from the beginning they slapped me on my face, on my head, shoulder."

Read more


Tue May 31, 2011
Middle East

Activists In Bahrain Lay Low After Crackdown

NPR's Kelly McEvers has an update on how things are going in Bahrain after security forces cracked down on anti-government protests.


Sat May 28, 2011

Iraqi Leader Reconsiders U.S. Troop Withdrawal

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has been saying for months that he'll stand by his agreement with the U.S. for the withdrawal of all American troops from Iraq by the end of this year.

In recent weeks, though, Maliki has done a turnaround. Now he says he'd support keeping some troops in the country after the deadline, if he can get a majority of Iraq's politicians to agree.

Maliki outlined his position in a news conference, saying he's willing to meet Iraq's elected officials and consider whether some U.S. troops should stay beyond this December.

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Fri May 13, 2011
Middle East

In Syria, Thousands Protest Regime

Originally published on Fri May 13, 2011 5:01 pm



From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

And we begin this hour with news out of Syria. Thousands of protesters across that country took to the streets today for the ninth Friday in a row, this despite one of the most brutal crackdowns against an uprising anywhere in the Arab world. In a moment, we'll hear from a reporter who recently slipped into Syria posing as a tourist and was detained by government security forces there.

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Thu May 12, 2011
Middle East

Al-Jazeera Reporter Dorothy Parvaz Detained In Iran

Until recently, the whereabouts of a reporter for the Al-Jazeera English-language channel were unknown. Dorothy Parvaz, who was born in Iran, flew to Syria last month. Syria has deported her to Iran.