The Honorable Kevin Rudd AC
President and CEO, Asia Society; President, Asia Society Policy Institute; 26th Prime Minister of Australia
Kevin Rudd became President and CEO of Asia Society in January 2021 and has been president of the Asia Society Policy Institute since January 2015. He served as Australia's 26th Prime Minister from 2007 to 2010, then as Foreign Minister from 2010 to 2012, before returning as Prime Minister in 2013. He is also a leading international authority on China. He began his career as a China scholar, serving as an Australian diplomat in Beijing before entering Australian politics.
As Prime Minister, 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 co‑founded the G20 to drive the global response to the crisis, 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 launched the long-term 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. This report was the first to recommend the negotiation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
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 (ASPI) in New York 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. In this capacity he chaired an international panel which produced an ASPI report entitled on the development of long-term security architecture in the Asia-Pacific region, entitled Preserving the Long Peace in Asia. Mr. Rudd released a series of speeches, articles, and essays from 2020 in the collection, The Avoidable War: The Decade of Living Dangerously. This volume works to help make sense of where the U.S.-China relationship is heading in the next decade and follows on from Mr. Rudd’s 2019 collection, The Avoidable War: The Case for Managed Strategic Competition, and 2018 collection, The Avoidable War: Reflections on U.S.-China Relations and the End of Strategic Engagement.
Mr. Rudd worked as a Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School in 2014, where he produced a major policy paper, U.S.-China 21: The Future of U.S.-China Relations Under Xi Jinping. Mr. Rudd remains a Senior Fellow at the Kennedy School.
Mr. Rudd is Chair of the Board of the International Peace Institute in New York, a United Nations-related think tank dedicated to peace and security issues, focusing on the Middle East. In his IPI capacity, Mr. Rudd in 2015-16 chaired a two-year-long Independent Commission on Multilateralism, which produced a comprehensive report on reforming the UN system entitled UN 2030: Rebuilding Order in a Fragmenting World.
Mr. Rudd was appointed to the IMF Managing Director’s External Advisory Group in 2020 and is a member of the Global Leadership Council for Sanitation and Water for All. He is a Distinguished Fellow at Chatham House in London, a Distinguished Statesman with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC, a Distinguished Fellow at the Paulson Institute in Chicago, and a member of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organization’s Group of Eminent Persons. He serves on the International Advisory Board of the Schwarzman Scholars program at Tsinghua University. Mr. Rudd is proficient in Mandarin Chinese.
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.
Mr. Rudd is a regular contributor to global media on international relations, climate change and China. He has been featured in the Financial Times, The New York Times and Le Monde, and regularly appears on the BBC, CNN, CNBC, Fox and Bloomberg.
The Honorable BAN Ki-moon
President & Chair, Global Green Growth Institute; Eighth Secretary-General (2007-2016), United Nations
On February 20, 2018, Mr. Ban Ki-moon was unanimously elected as the President of the Assembly and Chair of the Council by the two respective governance organs of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI). His leadership has been instrumental for the Institute to help its Members adopt the green growth—environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive—model of development.
In addition to leading GGGI, Mr. Ban is Chairman of the Ban Ki-moon Foundation for a Better Future, and he currently serves as the Chair of the Boao Forum for Asia. Along with the former President of Austria Mr. Heinz Fischer, he serves as Co-Chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens. Mr. Ban is also the Chairman of the International Olympic Committee Ethics Commission, and he serves as Deputy Chair of The Elders, an independent group of global leaders established by President Nelson Mandela.
Prior to the current appointments above, Mr. Ban served two consecutive terms as the Eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) from 2007 to 2016, during which time he worked to build bridges, to give voice to the world’s most vulnerable and marginalized people, and to bring transparency and effectiveness to the UN. He successfully initiated global action to combat climate change that culminated in the adoption and rapid entry into force the landmark Paris Climate Change Agreement in 2016. He worked closely with member states to shape the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to establish UN Women, the latter of which advances global gender equality and women’s empowerment. He also led major efforts to strengthen UN peace operations, protect human rights, improve humanitarian assistance, prevent violent extremism and revitalize disarmament activities.
Prior to leading the UN, Mr. Ban was Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea. His 37-year career as a diplomat included postings in New Delhi, Washington D.C., and Vienna, as well as key responsibilities for a variety of portfolios, including as the Foreign Policy Advisor to the President, the Chief National Security Advisor to the President, the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Deputy Minister for Policy Planning, and the Director-General for American Affairs. Mr. Ban contributed significantly to issues relating to inter-Korea relations and WMD proliferation by serving as Vice Chair of the South—North Joint Nuclear Control Commission and Chairman of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization.
Mr. Ban holds a BA in International Relations from Seoul National University and MA in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
Dr. Hilda Heine
President of the Marshall Islands, 2016-2020; Member of Parliament, Aur Atoll Electoral District
Dr. Hilda Cathy Heine, EdD, served as the eighth President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands from 2016 to January 2020. She is the first woman to serve as president of the country and the first woman to serve as head of state in any of the five Micronesian countries of the North Pacific. Prior to becoming President, Dr. Heine was the nation’s Minister of Education, and she is currently a senator representing Aur Atoll.
Dr. Heine was the first person in the Marshall Islands to earn a doctorate degree. In 1987, she co-founded the women's rights group Women United Together Marshall Islands (WUTMI). She attended college in the United States where she earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Oregon. She earned a master's degree at the University of Hawai‘i, and an educational doctorate at the University of Southern California.
As President, Dr. Heine strongly appealed to and urged all countries to take action to mitigate climate change. The Marshall Islands comprise over a thousand low-lying islands and islets that are threatened by the effects of climate change, including rising sea levels and more frequent and extreme weather events such as droughts and floods.
H.E. KONO Taro
Member, House of Representatives, Kanagawa 15th Dictrict; Minister (multiple positions), 2017-2021, Government of Japan
H.E. KONO Taro is a nine-term Member of the House of Representatives of the National Diet of Japan. He previously served as Minister for Administrative Affairs and Minister for Vaccine Roll-out, as well as Minister of Defense; Minister for Foreign Affairs; Chairman of the National Public Safety Commission, or Minister-in-charge of the National Police Organization; Minister in Charge of Consumer Affairs and Food Safety; and Minister-in-Charge of Disaster Management.
He has also served as Parliamentary Secretary for Public Management, Senior Vice-Minister of Justice, and Chairman of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives. He was Chairman of the Japan Race Horse Association and Chairman of the Shonan Bellmare Football Club, the 1995 Asia Champion Soccer Club.
Dr. Muhamad Chatib Basri
Chairman, PT Bank Mandiri Tbk & PT XL-Axiata Tbk; Minister of Finance, 2013 – 2014, Republic of Indonesia
Dr. Muhamad Chatib Basri is a former Minister of Finance of Indonesia. Previously he was the Chairman of the Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board. Dr. Basri is now the Chairman of the PT Bank Mandiri tbk. and Chairman of the PT XL-Axiata tbk.
He is a member of various International Advisory councils including the High-Level Advisory Group on Sustainable and Inclusive Recovery and Growth formed by the World Bank and the IMF in the face of dual crisis posed by COVID-19 pandemic and climate change; the World Bank Advisory Council on Gender and Development; Group Eminent Personalities of the OECD Development Centre and the Advisory Board, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, the Australian National University. He is also member of the Governing Board of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.
He teaches at the Department of Economics University of Indonesia and co-founded CReco Research, a Jakarta based economic consulting firm.
Dr. Basri was Ash Centre Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School (2015-2016), Pacific Leadership Fellow at the Centre on Global Transformation, University of California at San Diego (2016), NTUC Professor of International Economic Relations, RSIS, NTU, Singapore (2016) and Thee Kian Wie Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Australian National University (2016-2017).
His expertise is International Trade, Macroeconomics and Political Economy. He is the author of a number of paper in international journals and actively writes for various leading newspapers and magazines in Indonesia.
Dr. Arvind Panagariya
Jagdish N. Bhagwati Professor of Indian Political Economy, Columbia University; Vice Chairman, 2015-2017, NITI Aayog, Republic of India
Dr. Arvind Panagariya is Professor of Economics and the Jagdish Bhagwati Professor of Indian Political Economy at Columbia University.
From January 2015 to August 2017, he served as the first Vice Chairman of the NITI Aayog, Government of India in the rank of a Cabinet Minister. During these years, he also served as India’s G20 Sherpa and led the Indian teams that negotiated the G20 Communiqués during presidencies of Turkey (2015), China (2016) and Germany (2017).
Dr. Panagariya is a former Chief Economist of the Asian Development Bank and was on the faculty of the Department of Economics at the University of Maryland at College Park from 1978 to 2003. During these years, he also worked with the World Bank, IMF and UNCTAD in various capacities. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Economics from Princeton University.
Dr. Panagariya has authored more than twenty books. His book India: The Emerging Giant (2008, OUP, New York) was listed as a top pick of 2008 by The Economist and described as the “definitive book on the Indian economy” by Fareed Zakaria of the CNN. The Economist has described his book, Why Growth Matters, (with Jagdish Bhagwati) as “a manifesto for policymakers and analysts.”
Scientific papers by Dr. Panagariya have appeared in the top economics journals such as the American Economic Review, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Review of Economic Studies and International Economic Review while policy papers by him have appeared in the Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy. He writes a monthly column in the Times of India and his guest columns have appeared in the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal and India Today.
In March 2012, the Government of India honored Dr. Panagariya with Padma Bhusan, the third highest civilian honors the country bestows in any field.
NEO Gim Huay
Managing Director, Centre for Nature and Climate, World Economic Forum
NEO Gim Huay is Managing Director and Head of the Center for Nature and Climate at the World Economic Forum. Before joining the Forum, she held various Managing Director roles in Temasek, including Climate Change Strategy, Sustainability and Enterprise Development. Gim Huay was responsible for seeding new businesses as well as working with Temasek’s existing portfolio of companies to build new capabilities. She also spearheaded Temasek’s sustainability and climate change strategy and initiatives.
Prior to joining Temasek, Gim Huay was a Management Consultant at McKinsey & Co in the Lagos, New York and San Francisco offices. She also served in the Singapore Public Service as an Administrative Officer, in the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Prime Minister’s Office as well as the Singapore Embassy in the United States. Gim Huay holds a Masters in Business Administration (Arjay Miller Scholar) from Stanford University and a Masters of Engineering (Distinction) and Bachelor of Arts (First Class Honors) from Cambridge University. She was selected as an Eisenhower Fellow in 2015.
IFC Director, Global Head Climate Business
Vivek Pathak has been passionate about climate for most of his career. In his current role, he takes inspiration from two of his strongest beliefs – that the world needs urgent action to combat climate change, and that addressing climate change will generate huge business opportunities for the private sector and capital markets.
As IFC’s Global Head and Director of Climate Business, Vivek looks for these opportunities and works to mobilize capital needed to move them forward. He also leads business development, guides standardsetting and new product design, and connects the dots across the corporation to mainstream the climate lens into all IFC’s business. He believes that the private sector will be key to greening major sectors of national economies – from energy and transport to agriculture and manufacturing – and is committed to helping clients who are working to move the needle on the low-carbon transition in their countries and communities.
Prior to his current role, Mr. Pathak was IFC’s Regional Director for East Asia and Pacific, where he led operations across 18 countries, reaching $4.2 billion in long-term investment in fiscal year 2020, and was one of the first at IFC to integrate climate into all aspects of the business. Before that, he was IFC’s Director and Global Head of Credit and Investment Risk. He had also held multiple leadership roles managing portfolio, credit risk, and business development in frontier markets at IFC, Bank of America and ABN AMRO Bank. He started his career in advertising, where he learned the importance of knowing your audience, and the power of words to change the world.
CEO, European Climate Foundation; Former French Ambassador for Climate Change Negotiations
Laurence Tubiana is CEO of the European Climate Foundation (ECF) and a Professor at Sciences Po, Paris. She previously chaired the Board of Governors at the French Development Agency (AFD), as well as the Board at Expertise France (The French public agency for international technical assistance). Beforejoining the ECF, Laurence was France’s Climate Change Ambassador and Special Representative for COP21, and as such a key architect of the landmark Paris Agreement. Following COP21 and through COP22, she was appointed UN High-Level Champion for climate action.
Laurence brings decades of expertise and experience in climate change, energy, agriculture and sustainable development, working across government, think tanks, NGOs and academia. She started her career as a Research Director for the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA). In the 80’s and early 90’s she founded and then led Solagral, an NGO working on food security and the global environment. She founded in 2002 and directed until 2014 the Paris-based Institute of Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI). From 1997 to 2002, she served as Senior Adviser on the Environment to the French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin. From 2009 to 2010, she created and then led the newly established Directorate for Global Public Goods at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE). In 2013, she chaired the French National Debate on the Energy Transition. In 2018, President Macron appointed her to France’s High Council on Climate Change.Throughout the years, Laurence has held several academic positions, including as a Professor and Scientific Director for the International Development and Environmental Studies Master degrees at Sciences Po, Paris; and Professor of International Affairs at Columbia University, New York. She has been a member of numerous boards and scientific committees, including the Chinese Committee on the Environment and International Development (CCICED), and currently sits on advisory boards such as Iberdrola.