Conversation with 26th Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd: Service, Leadership, Racial Equality
Updated: Apr 11
In an interview with ECC, 26th Prime Minister of Australia Kevin Rudd shares his insights about advancing minority inclusion through service, leadership, and perseverance.
Bincheng Mao (ECC founder) and Charlotte Wu (ECC outreach director) co-moderated this interview. Our distinguished guest today is the Honorable Kevin Rudd, 26th Prime Minister of Australia and current President of Asia Society.
As Prime Minister, he devoted the government of Australia to minority inclusion and social reconciliation. He led the Australian parliament to deliver the first-ever national apology to indigenous Australians on 13 February 2008. Later that year, Prime Minister was named one of the most impactful leaders by Time 100.
He also led Australia’s outstanding response to the Global Financial Crisis, regarded by the IMF as the most effective stimulus strategy among member states. Australia was the only major advanced economy not to go into recession. In addition, the Prime Minister ratified the Kyoto Protocol to address climate change and withdrew Australia from the Iraq War.
A leader in multilateral cooperation, Prime Minister Rudd is recognized as a founder of the G20 to drive the global response to the financial crisis. To address climate change, he led a majority of Parliament to ratify the landmark Kyoto Protocol. To safeguard the wellbeing of the people, his government introduced Australia’s first paid parental leave program and implemented the biggest increase and reform of the age pension since federation. His government also oversaw 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.
Upon leaving office in 2013, Mr. Rudd has served as a Senior Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School, a Distinguished Statesman with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a Distinguished Fellow at Chatham House. Proficient in Mandarin Chinese, he also chaired the World Economic Forum’s China Council. For his eminent public service, Mr. Rudd was awarded the highest national honor of Australia in 2019. Since 2021, he has been serving as the 8th President of the Asia Society.
Unscripted is an interview series produced by the East Coast Coalition for Tolerance and Non-Discrimination (ECC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting inclusion and equity for marginalized minorities.