NZ ex-PM Ardern to take up Harvard fellowships

She plans to spend a semester at the elite Massachusetts university


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New Zealand former prime ,inister Jacinda Ardern. — AP file
New Zealand former prime ,inister Jacinda Ardern. — AP file

Published: Wed 26 Apr 2023, 1:40 PM

Last updated: Wed 26 Apr 2023, 1:41 PM

Former New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Wednesday that she will take up fellowships at Harvard University later this year.

Ardern shocked New Zealanders in January by announcing she was resigning as prime minister after five years in office, saying she no longer had "enough in the tank" to go on.

She now plans to spend a semester at the elite Massachusetts university.

"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," Ardern wrote on Instagram.

She will also take up a technology fellowship to "work on the challenges around the growth of generative AI tools".

Harvard professor Jonathan Zittrain described Ardern's appointment as a "rare and precious" chance for her and the university.

"Jacinda Ardern's hard-won expertise - including her ability to bring diverse people and institutions together - will be invaluable as we all search for workable solutions to some of the deepest online problems," Zittrain said.

The former premier did not offer specific dates for her Harvard visit but said she will be gone "for a semester -- helpfully the one that falls during the NZ general election" on October 14.

"I'll be coming back at the end of the fellowships. After all, New Zealand is home," Ardern added.

Last month it was revealed she was also taking up two new roles -- a volunteer position as special envoy for the Christchurch Call, a group combatting violent extremism online, and trustee of Prince William's Earthshot Prize -- after leaving politics.

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