Former Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd has been named as the nation’s next ambassador to the United States.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced the appointment on Tuesday, December 20, 2022 at a press conference alongside Foreign Minister Penny Wong, ahead of her departure to Beijing for a highly anticipated meeting with China’s Foreign Minister.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese cited Rudd’s roles as leader and foreign minister as well as his academic background as a China scholar and previous work in the U.S.
Albanese revealed that Rudd would begin early next year.
“Dr. Rudd brings unmatched experience to the role,” Albanese opined.
In a statement, Rudd expressed that he was greatly honored to be chosen. He noted that Australia faces the most challenging security and diplomatic environment it has in decades.
Kevin Rudd served as Australia’s Prime Minister from 2007 to 2010 and again briefly in 2013 before his center-left Labor party lost a general election. He served as Foreign Minister from 2010 to 2012.
Australia has a rough-and-tumble political style, and Rudd was abruptly replaced as Prime Minister by Julia Gillard in 2010, who was then herself shortly replaced by Rudd in 2013.
Rudd has often been a divisive figure in Australian politics, and reporters on Tuesday probed Prime Minister Albanese about appointing somebody who had a reputation as a micromanager and who has been harshly critical of media mogul, Rupert Murdoch and Former President Donald Trump.
Albanese said Rudd was an “outstanding appointment” and the U.S. would view the choice of a Former Prime Minister as “very significant.”
“I am very pleased that Kevin Rudd is prepared to do this. He certainly doesn’t need to do this. He’s doing it out of a part of what he sees as his service obligation to the country that he loves and I am sure that he will serve very well.”Prime Minister Anthony Albanese
Rudd Acts As President And Chief Executive Of Asia Society
Being a fluent speaker of Mandarin, Rudd is currently serving as President and Chief Executive of the Asia Society in New York.
Rudd has lived in the U.S. for most of the past decade, working first at the Harvard Kennedy School researching U.S.-China relations, followed by eight years in various roles at the Asia Society.
“In some ways, my new position will not be dissimilar to the work I have been undertaking at Asia Society to support greater cooperation between the U.S. and the countries of our region; experience which should hold me in good stead for the challenge ahead.”Kevin Rudd
US ambassador to Australia, Caroline Kennedy, iterated, Rudd’s appointment “will further strengthen the US-Australia alliance, and I look forward to working closely with him to advance our shared values”.
Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese revealed that he plans to visit the U.S. at some point next year, and for President Joe Biden to visit Australia when it hosts a meeting of leaders from the four-nation Quad group, which also includes Japan and India.
Kevin Rudd will replace Former Liberal Senator, Arthur Sinodinos, as Australia’s ambassador to United States. Arthur Sinodinos’ three-year term expires in February, 2023.