On Tuesday, April 2nd, the Atlantic Council hosted an off-the-record roundtable discussion on the transatlantic implications arising from the US pivot to Asia with former Prime Minister of Australia, The Honorable Kevin Rudd MP.
Mr. Rudd engaged American experts in a conversation on political and security developments in Asia. He provided an Australian take on issues like China’s recent leadership transition, escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula, and the implications of the US strategic emphasis on the Asia Pacific. The group also discussed how the United States can more creatively engage its allies as it ‘pivots’ to Asia, including both regional powers like Australia, as well as allies in the transatlantic community.
Mr. Rudd was Prime Minister of Australia from December 2007 to June 2010, after he led the Australian Labor Party to an election win in November 2007. Prior to entering Parliament in 1998, Mr. Rudd worked as a diplomat, as a senior official in the Queensland Government, and as a consultant helping Australian firms to establish and build their business links in China. Between 1996 and 1998, Mr. Rudd worked in business, primarily as the Senior China Consultant for KPMG Australia. In 1998 Mr. Rudd was elected to the Parliament of Australia. Following the November 2001 election, Mr. Rudd was appointed Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, subsequently adding responsibilities for International Security in 2003 and Trade in 2005. On 4 December 2006, Mr. Rudd was elected as the 19th leader of the Australian Labor Party. Over the following twelve months he traveled extensively throughout Australia, campaigning on a policy platform focused on education reforms, climate change, health care, reforming Australia’s Federal system of government and restoring fairness to Australian industrial relations laws.