Former Australian prime minister joins Paulson Institute as distinguished fellow

Wen Huang
News Officer for Law, Policy and EconomicsUniversity Communications

The Paulson Institute has appointed Kevin Rudd, the former prime minister of Australia and a veteran China expert, as the institute’s first distinguished fellow.

In his new role, Rudd will work with the institute’s think tank—a “virtual” institution that commissions, publishes and promotes studies by leading scholars and practitioners. He will also participate in projects and initiatives on Chinese economic and environmental policy.

“Kevin Rudd has been a leading thinker and doer—in Australia and on the global stage,” said Henry M. Paulson Jr., founder and chairman of the Paulson Institute. “Since the institute’s focus is China—a country with which Kevin has had three decades of rich experience—he will marry his deep knowledge of China to the Paulson Institute’s effort to fashion practical and enduring solutions to the economic and environmental challenges facing China and the world.”

Paulson announced Rudd’s appointment at a recent event held at the Asia Society in New York, where Paulson and Rudd held a discussion on the rise of China within the international system.

“I am delighted to be joining the Paulson Institute,” said Rudd. “China is at a threshold moment: It faces very considerable economic and environmental challenges. Its choices and actions will have a powerful effect on the nature and quality of global growth and environmental protection. I look forward to contributing to the Paulson Institute’s effort to foster cooperative solutions and China’s adoption of lessons and best practices from around the world.”

The Paulson Institute is an independent, non-partisan center located at the University of Chicago, focusing on global environmental issues and sustainable economic growth in the context of fostering broader understanding between the United States and China.

Rudd served as Australia’s 26th prime minister between 2007 and 2010, and subsequently as Australia’s foreign minister from 2010 until 2012. He served again as prime minister in 2013. He is internationally recognized as one of the founders of the G20, the premier global economic decision-making institution, and as a major driving force behind the 2010 decision to expand the East Asia Summit to include the United States in this important regional forum.

Rudd has remained engaged in major international challenges, including global economic management, the rise of China and the global challenge of sustainable development. He co-authored the 2012 report of the United Nations’ secretary-general’s high-level panel on global sustainability: “Resilient People, Resilient Planet.”

Rudd studied at the Australian National University in Canberra, where he majored in Chinese language and Chinese history. He delivered his first speech in Beijing as Australian prime minister in flawless Mandarin Chinese.