In the fall of 2021 Sielke Kelner was the RIAS Short-Term Fellow 2021.

Sielke Kelner is a Swiss National Science Foundation postdoc fellow at Leiden University. Before coming to the Netherlands, she completed her Ph.D. in international history at the Graduate Institute in Geneva. A former visiting fellow at the LSE IDEAS, the Harriman Institute, and the Elliott School of International Affairs, she has worked on Romania’s role in the Arab-Israeli peace process, and US-Romanian emigration agreements during the Cold War. Sielke is working on a project tracing the encounters between Western faith-based NGOs and local religious leaders in Socialist Romania.

During her time at RIAS, she was working on completing an article about Christian transnational activism. By looking at how state and non-state actors combined their efforts to release from prison an incarcerated Romanian priest, the article offers a prominent example of Christian transnational diplomacy and advocacy during the Cold War.