The Hon Kevin Rudd

BA (Asian Studies) (Hons) '81

Kevin Rudd attended the Australian National University, completing his bachelor’s degree in Asian studies before embarking on a diplomatic career.

From 1981 to 1988 he served in Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, holding embassy posts in Stockholm and Beijing. He left the department to become chief of staff for Queensland opposition leader Wayne Goss, a position he retained after Goss became premier of Queensland in 1989. He served as director general of the state cabinet office from 1992 to 1995.

Entering the private sector, he worked for two years as a senior consultant for the accounting firm KPMG Australia.

Kevin was first elected to the federal House of Representatives as the member for Griffith in 1998 and was twice re-elected (2001 and 2004).

He was elected as Leader of the Labor Party in 2006 and was only the third Labor leader to win government from opposition since World War II.

Kevin served as Australia’s 26th Prime Minister (2007-2010, 2013) and as Foreign Minister (2010- 2012).

Kevin joined the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) 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.

Kevin is a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School where in 2014 he completed a major policy paper on ‘Alternative Futures for US-China Relations.’

He is a Distinguished Fellow at Chatham House in London, a Distinguished Statesman with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, a Distinguished Fellow at the Paulson Institute in Chicago, and a senior advisor at Eurasia Group.

Kevin is a member of the Comprehensive Test Ban Organization’s Group of Eminent Persons. He is proficient in Mandarin Chinese and serves as a Visiting Professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, and co-Chairs the World Economic Forum’s China Council.

In his private capacity, Kevin 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.

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