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Wellington, April 27 – Former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who stepped down from office in January, announced that she will be heading to the Harvard University later this year under two fellowships.
In a social media post on Wednesday, the 42-year-old said: “I’m incredibly humbled to be invited to join Harvard University later this year as 2023 Angelopoulos Global Public Leaders Fellow and as a Hauser Leader in the Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership.
“Harvard have been a really important partner in the Christchurch Call work, and my semester there later this year will also be an opportunity to take up the first tech governance leadership fellowship at the Berkman Klien Center.
“Not only will this be a chance to work collaboratively with the center’s research community, but also work on the challenges around the growth of generative AI tools.”
The Christchurch Call is an initiative she helped launch in 2019 to counter terrorist and violent extremist content online, two months after the Christchurch terrorist attack that killed 51 people in two mosques.
The attacker had livestreamed the incident and published a manifesto online beforehand.
Ardern added she would be gone for a semester, missing out on the New Zealand general election, but would return at the end of the fellowships. “After all, New Zealand is home,” she wrote.
In a statement, Kennedy School Dean Douglas Elmendorf said: “Jacinda Ardern showed the world strong and empathetic political leadership. 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.”
When Ardern became the Prime Minister in 2017 at the age of 37, she was New Zealand’s third female leader and one of the youngest leaders in the world, reports CNN.
Within a year, she had become only the second world leader to give birth in office.
Her time in power was defined by multiple crises, including the Christchurch attack, a deadly volcanic explosion, and the global Covid-19 pandemic.