Kevin Rudd Keynote Speaker

  • Former Prime Minister of Australia (2007-2010, 2013)
  • Leading China scholar and fluent Mandarin speakers
  • Author of "The Avoidable War: The Dangers of a Catastrophic Conflict between the US and Xi Jinping's China" (March 2022)

Kevin Rudd's Biography

Kevin Rudd is the former Prime Minister of Australia, serving from 2007 to 2010 and again in 2013. He served as Foreign Minister in the interim. Kevin Rudd is also a leading international authority on China. He began his career as an Australian diplomat in Beijing and is a fluent Mandarin speaker. Kevin Rudd is currently president and CEO of the Asia Society.

As Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd 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. Rudd was also 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, 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.

Domestically, Kevin 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.

Kevin 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 on the development of long-term security architecture in the Asia-Pacific region, entitled, “Preserving the Long Peace in Asia”. Rudd is the author of autographical and political books. In the latter category, his latest work is “The Avoidable War: The Dangers of a Catastrophic Conflict between the US and Xi Jinping’s China“. Reviewing the book in the Financial Times, Gideon Rachman said “Rudd has become one of the most influential Western commentators on relations between China and the West. He correctly takes the prospect of war between the US and China very seriously and comes up with a plan to avert disaster.”

In a private capacity, Kevin Rudd established the Australian National Apology Foundation to continue to promote reconciliation and closing the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.
He 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.

Read More

Videos of Kevin Rudd

Understanding How China Sees the World
Understanding How China Sees the World

Books by Kevin Rudd

The Avoidable War: The Dangers of a Catastrophic Conflict between the US and Xi Jinping's China

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