The Honorable Kevin Rudd

President

The Hon. Kevin Rudd

Mr. Rudd served as Australia’s 26th Prime Minister (2007-2010, 2013) and as Foreign Minister (2010-2012). He led Australia’s response during the Global Financial Crisis, reviewed by the IMF as the most effective stimulus strategy of all member states. Australia was the only major developed economy not to go into recession. Mr. Rudd helped found the G20 to drive the global response to the crisis, and which in 2009 helped prevent the crisis from spiraling into depression.

As Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Mr. Rudd was active in global and regional foreign policy leadership. He was a driving force in expanding the East Asia Summit to include both the U.S. and Russia in 2010, and initiated the concept of transforming the EAS into a wider Asia Pacific Community. On climate change, Mr. Rudd ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2007 and legislated in 2008 for a 20 percent mandatory renewable energy target for Australia. He represented Australia at the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Change Summit which produced the Copenhagen Accord, for the first time committing states to not allow temperature increases beyond two degrees. He was appointed a member of the UN Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Global Sustainability and is a co-author of the report Resilient People, Resilient Planet for the 2012 Rio+20 Conference. Mr. Rudd drove Australia’s successful bid for its non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for 2012-2014. His government also saw the near doubling of Australia’s foreign aid budget to approximately $5 billion, making Australia then one of the top ten aid donors in the world. He also appointed Australia’s first ever Ambassador for Women and Girls to support the critical role of women in development and reduce physical and sexual violence against women.

Domestically, Mr. Rudd delivered Australia’s formal national apology to indigenous Australians. In education, his government introduced Australia’s first-ever nationwide school curriculum, undertook the biggest-ever capital investment program in Australian schools with the building of thousands of new state of the art libraries across the country, as well as introducing the first-ever mandatory national assessment system of literacy and numeracy standards. In health, Mr. Rudd in 2010 negotiated with the Australian states a National Health and Hospitals Reform Agreement, the biggest reform and investment in the health system since the introduction of Medicare 30 years before. His government established a national network of leading-edge cancer care centers across Australia, before introducing the world’s first ever plain-packaging regime for all tobacco products. To improve the rate of organ and tissue donation, he established Australia’s first National Organ and Tissue Transplant Authority. In 2010, his government introduced Australia’s first-ever paid parental leave scheme and implemented the biggest increase in, and reform of, the age pension since federation. He also founded the National Broadband Network to deliver high-speed broadband for every household, business, school, hospital, and GP in the country.

Mr. Rudd joined the Asia Society Policy Institute as its inaugural President in January 2015. ASPI is a “think-do tank” dedicated to using second-track diplomacy to assist governments and businesses in resolving policy challenges within Asia, and between Asia and the West. He is also Chair of the Independent Commission on Multilateralism where he is leading a review of the UN system over the 2015-16 period. In 2014, Mr. Rudd was a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School where he completed a major policy paper U.S.-China 21: The Future of U.S.-China Relations Under Xi Jinping. He is a Distinguished Fellow at Chatham House in London, a Distinguished Statesman with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, and a Distinguished Fellow at the Paulson Institute in Chicago. Mr. Rudd is a member of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization’s Group of Eminent Persons. He is proficient in Mandarin Chinese and serves as a Visiting Professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, and he co-chairs the World Economic Forum’s China Council.

Mr. Rudd in his private capacity has established the Australian National Apology Foundation to continue to promote reconciliation and closing the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians. He has also established the Asia Pacific Community Foundation to promote the cause of regional economic, security, and environmental collaboration across the region.
 

Reports

Commentary

In a discussion on CNN, the Asia Society Policy Institute President shares his perspective on how climate change is having a negative impact on the world now and not just in the long term.
The Asia Society Policy Institute President shares his take on the proceedings at the United Nations climate change summit.
Speaking with CNN International’s Christiane Amanpour, ASPI President Kevin Rudd discusses the pivotal topics and obstacles in the negotiations at the UN climate change summit in Paris, including the need for a legally binding agreement.
In a Guardian op-ed published as COP21 began in Paris, ASPI President Kevin Rudd and former U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson argue that the “big three” can “become global leaders in a new and more sustainable energy future.”
The Asia Society Policy Institute Vice President, who recently served as Acting Deputy U.S. Trade Representative, spoke about how the Trans-Pacific Partnership is catalyzing trade liberalization across Asia during an event in New York.
ASPI President Kevin Rudd and Indian business leader Sunil Kant Munjal make the case for India’s accession to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in an essay published by the Huffington Post India and the Straits Times.
Speaking at the International Finance Forum’s 12th Annual Conference, ASPI President Kevin Rudd discussed the need for a new global financial architecture.
Kevin Rudd’s essay for Horizons magazine argues that the United States and China should work together on strengthening the global governance system in order to maintain peace as China gains international influence.
In an essay for Europe’s World, Kevin Rudd makes the case that “a common political and security architecture” for Asia — an Asia-Pacific Community — would enable the continent to manage regional tensions and defuse crises.
Kevin Rudd Appears in BBC's "Panorama" on Xi Jinping
Kevin Rudd and John Mearsheimer face off in New York.
ASPI President Kevin Rudd joined former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman and Eurasia Group President Ian Bremmer at the 2015 Concordia Summit to consider how the U.S. and China might build on the meeting.
In a major address during the UN General Assembly’s debate on maintaining international peace, the ASPI President argued that “the concept and the praxis of prevention” must be central to the UN’s efforts to uphold security.
Transcript and video of the Asia Society Policy Institute President’s speech during the UN General Assembly’s high-level debate on maintaining international peace.
In a discussion with ASPI President Kevin Rudd at Asia Society New York, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said he regards the potential pact as a “starting point” for opening trade more broadly across Asia.
Writing for the Guardian, Kevin Rudd argues that the U.S. and China share a “maximum desire for stability” that should compel them to agree on a new strategic narrative for their relationship.
Experts say questions about the state of China's economy will hang over President Xi Jinping's visit to Washington, and that domestic Chinese politics could thwart badly needed economic reforms.
Speaking with Bloomberg TV’s Brendan Greeley, ASPI President Kevin Rudd discussed the political vision of Xi Jinping, the future of China’s technology sector, and the outlook for the Chinese economy.

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