The Honorable Kevin Rudd AC
President and CEO, Asia Society; President, Asia Society Policy Institute
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.
As Prime Minister, Rudd led Australia's response during the Global Financial Crisis. Australia's fiscal response to the crisis was reviewed by the IMF as the most effective stimulus strategy of all member states. Australia was the only major advanced economy not to go into recession. Rudd is also internationally recognized as one of the founders of the G20, which drove the global response to the crisis and in 2009 helped prevent the crisis from spiraling into a second global depression.
As Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Rudd was active in global and regional foreign policy leadership. He was a driving force in expanding the East Asia Summit (EAS) to include both the U.S. and Russia in 2010. He also initiated the concept of transforming the EAS into a wider Asia-Pacific community to help manage deep-rooted tensions in Asia by building over time the institutions and culture of common security in Asia. On climate change, Rudd ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2007 and legislated in 2008 for a mandatory 20 percent renewable energy target for Australia. Rudd launched Australia's challenge in the International Court of Justice with the objective of stopping Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean. Rudd drove Australia's successful bid for its current non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council and oversaw the near-doubling of Australia's foreign aid budget.
Rudd is Chair of the Board of the International Peace Institute. He is a member of the IMF Managing Director’s External Advisory Group and the Global Leadership Council for Sanitation and Water for All. He is a Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, a Distinguished Fellow at Chatham House in London, a Distinguished Statesman with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC, and a Distinguished Fellow at the Paulson Institute in Chicago. Rudd is 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. Rudd is proficient in Mandarin Chinese. He remains actively engaged in indigenous reconciliation.