Jacinda Arden taking on new role at Harvard

Harvard University announced Tuesday that former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will join its staff for one semester as she takes on two fellowships at the school in Cambridge, Massachusetts after exiting her country's parliament.  

“Jacinda Ardern showed the world strong and empathetic political leadership,” said Harvard Kennedy School Dean Douglas Elmendorf. “She earned respect far beyond the shores of her country, and she will bring important insights for our students and will generate vital conversations about the public policy choices facing leaders at all levels.” 

Ardern has been recognized for her response to the deadly mass shooting of 51 people by a white supremacist at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2019 and has worked vigilantly to tackle violent extremism online. 

“I am incredibly humbled to be joining Harvard University as a fellow—not only will it give me the opportunity to share my experience with others, it will give me a chance to learn," Ardern said in a statement. "As leaders, there’s often very little time for reflection, but reflection is critical if we are to properly support the next generation of leaders."

Ardern will be joining Harvard Kennedy School as its 2023 Angelopoulos Global Public Leaders Fellow and as a Hauser Leader at the school’s Center for Public Leadership. She will also work with the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard Law School as its first Knight Tech Governance Leadership Fellow.

“It’s rare and precious for a head of state to be able to immerse deeply in a complex and fast-moving digital policy issue both during and after their service,” said Prof. Jonathan Zittrain, co-founder and faculty director of the Berkman Klein Center, in a statement.

Ardern announced her resignation in January after serving more than five years as prime minister, saying she no longer had “enough in the tank” to continue as New Zealand's leader.

“While I’ll be gone for a semester (helpfully the one that falls during the NZ general election!) I’ll be coming back at the end of the fellowships," Ardern posted on Instagram. "After all, New Zealand is home!"

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