Kevin Rudd served as Australia’s 26th Prime Minister between 2007-2010 and subsequently as Australia’s Foreign Minister from 2010 until 2012. Mr Rudd 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. As Prime Minister, Mr Rudd led Australia’s response during the Global Financial Crisis. Australia was the only major advanced economy not to go into recession, in large part because of the Australian Government’s policy response which the OECD/IMF assessed as one of the most effective in the world.
Mr Rudd is internationally recognised as one of the founders of the G20, the premier global economic decision-making institution. He is recognised as a major driving force behind the 2010 decision to expand the East Asia Summit to include the United States in this important regional institution. This was a major step forward to realising his longer term vision for an Asia Pacific Community which he first proposed in 2008. As Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Mr Rudd also oversaw the doubling of Australian foreign aid over five years, making Australia the seventh largest aid donor in the world.
Mr Rudd remains engaged in major international challenges including global economic management, the rise of China, and the global challenge of sustainable development. He was a co-author of the 2012 report of the United Nations Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Global Sustainability – “Resilient People, Resilient Planet”. Nationally, he remains deeply engaged on the questions of Australia’s strategic and economic future in Asia, aboriginal reconciliation, the teaching of Asian languages, homelessness and organ donation.