Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin M. Rudd will be joining the Kennedy School of Government this spring as a senior fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, the school announced Friday afternoon. Rudd will also serve as an Institute of Politics visiting fellow during his time at the Kennedy School, which will begin next week.
Rudd’s work at the Belfer Center will focus on investigating a new strategic relationship between China and the U.S. and its potential global impacts.
“His expertise on China will be invaluable to our collaboration with the Ash Center in exploring China’s rise and possible responses by the U.S. and international community,” Belfer Center Director Graham T. Allison ’62 said in the press release.
In addition to his experience as prime minister from 2007-2010 and again in 2013, Rudd brings 30 years of China-related experience to the Belfer Center and the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, another program housed at the Kennedy School, which is studying U.S.-China relations. In addition to speaking Mandarin, Rudd majored in Chinese language and Chinese history at the Australian National University before embarking on a career that has included both living and working in China.
Rudd stressed the importance of his work at the Belfer Center in today’s global economy. “I believe the China project is important if we are to advance both the concept and the substance of what the Chinese call ‘a new type of great power relationship’ between Washington and Beijing,” Rudd said in the release.
While speaking at the IOP last April, Rudd said that the possibility of conflict arising from China’s potential replacement of the U.S. as the world’s largest economy is “the central question of the first half of the 21st century.”
In addition to leading a major research effort, Rudd will join Michael D. Huckabee, Liz Montoya, and Avshalom Vilan as an IOP Visiting fellow for the rest of the spring term. He will conduct four study groups at the IOP on Mondays in March and April, beginning March 3.
According to IOP Fellows and Study Groups Programs Manager Eric R. Andersen, Rudd’s speech was a “big hit” among students last Spring.
“Our students at the IOP tell us all the time how much they’re interested in international leaders, and learning about perspectives that are not just US-centric,” Andersen said. “[Kevin] Rudd is a leader in that area--in a lot of different areas, including global climate change, economic changes globally, and of course on China. These are all areas that our students ask us to address, and we’re pleased that Mr. Rudd is going to give us some of his time to talk about that this spring.”
IOP Director C. M. Trey Grayson ’94 believes that Rudd’s popularity as a speaker last year will contribute to him being a large asset to the Harvard community in the months to come.
“As an Institute visiting fellow this spring, here for a much longer period, we are sure even more undergraduates will take advantage of the opportunity to learn from and engage with him and that his presence will create strong interest among faculty and the entire University community,” Grayson said.
—Staff writer Forrest K. Lewis can be reached at email@example.com.
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