Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has been nominated as the country’s next Ambassador to the United States.
“Kevin Rudd is an outstanding appointment,” Australian PM Anthony Albanese said during a press conference Tuesday. “He brings a great deal of credit to Australia by agreeing to take up this position as a former prime minister, as a former foreign minister.”
Albanese further highlighted Rudd’s expertise in Australia’s foreign policy for China.
Rudd’s appointment came at a time when the Indo-Pacific region has been the center of international strategic competition, Reuters reported.
Taking to Twitter, Rudd released a statement in which he said he has developed close ties with Democratic and Republican leaders in the United States. He further expressed eagerness towards “strengthing the bond” between the two countries.
“Our national interest continues to be served, as it has for decades past, by the deepest and most effective strategic engagement of the United States in our region,” he said in the statement. The U.S. and Australia are both members of Quad and AUKUS — multilateral alliances that focus on the Indo-Pacific region.
Who is Kevin Rudd?
Born and raised in Australia’s Queensland, Rudd was a scholar on China and also served as a diplomat in Beijing. After being launched into national politics, Rudd headed the Australian Labor Party for more than a decade in opposition.
He served as the Prime Minister between 2007 and 2010, and again in 2013, according to his website. Rudd was also Australia’s Foreign Minister between 2010 and 2012.
Rudd speaks fluent Mandarin and has been focusing on China’s world policy after quitting politics in 2013. In September, he completed a doctorate on the world view of Chinese leader Xi Jinping from Oxford, according to CNBC.
Rudd currently serves as the chief executive of Asia Society in New York and the president of the Asia Society Policy Institute. According to his website, he also heads multiple social campaigns internationally, including “Sanitation and Water For All,” a global partnership hosted by the United Nations.
Rudd has published numerous write-ups, articles, and memoirs focusing on international relations after leaving the Australian PM’s office. These include “Preserving the Long Peace in Asia,” ” The Avoidable War: The Decade of Living Dangerously,” ” The Avoidable War: The Case for Managed Strategic Competition,” and “The Avoidable War: Reflections on U.S.-China Relations and the End of Strategic Engagement.”