Keynote Speaker | Prime Minister, New Zealand (2017-2023); Senior Fellow, Harvard University; Special Envoy, Christchurch Call to Action; Board Member, The Earthshot Prize
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE DAME JACINDA ARDERN became the Prime Minister of New Zealand at just 37 years of age. During her time in office she faced the challenges of a live streamed domestic terror attack against New Zealand’s Muslim community, a volcanic eruption and the COVID 19 pandemic. Ms. Ardern’s focus on people, kindness and what she has called “pragmatic idealism” saw New Zealand achieve some of the lowest losses of life experienced by any developed nation through the pandemic, the ban of military style semi-automatic weapons in her country, and the creation of the Christchurch call to action to eliminate violent extremism online, which Ms. Ardern continues to hold the role of Special Envoy.
Ms. Ardern is a champion of woman’s empowerment. While in office, New Zealand reached 50 percent representation of women in parliament, and on government appointed boards. She decriminalised abortion, improved pay equity laws and extended paid parental leave to 6 months—all while being only the second woman in the world to have a baby while leading her country.
Ms. Ardern is a passionate advocate on climate action and is a board member of The Earthshot Prize, focusing on solutions to climate change and environmental issues.
Ms. Ardern is the 2023 Angelopoulos Global Public Leaders Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Hauser Leader in the School’s Center for Public Leadership, a program where leaders from public, private, and nonprofit sectors engage with students and faculty on building skills in principled leadership. She is also the Knight Tech Governance Leadership Fellow at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, where she will focus on ways to improve content standards and platform accountability for extremist content online.
Ms. Ardern holds an Honorary Doctorate from Harvard University.