Former New Zealand leader Jacinda Ardern is heading to Harvard

Jacinda Ardern, former leader of New Zealand, is swapping politics for a stint of quiet reflection within academia overseas at Harvard University.

Former New Zealand leader Jacinda Ardern is heading to Harvard


Jacinda Ardern, who stepped down as the leader of New Zealand in January, revealed that she will be swapping politics for quiet reflection at Harvard University, and is heading there this fall on two fellowships.

According to a press release from Harvard, she was appointed to two fellowships at Harvard Kennedy School. This is the school's public policy and governance department.

She will be the Angelopoulos Global Public Leaders fellow, a fellowship aimed at leaders who are transitioning out of public service, and as the Hauser Leader within the School's Center for Public Leadership. This program helps students and faculty develop leadership skills by bringing in leaders from different sectors.

In a press release, Kennedy School Dean Douglas Elmendorf said that Jacinda Ardern demonstrated strong and empathetic leadership. She earned respect well beyond the borders of her own country. She will provide important insights to our students, and generate vital discussions about the choices that leaders face at all levels.

Ardern stated in the press release that she was 'humbled' to join Harvard University as a Fellow. Not only will I be able to share my experiences with others, but it will also give me an opportunity to learn. As leaders, we have little time to reflect, but it is important that we do so if the next generation wants to be properly supported.

Ardern is also completing another fellowship at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. She will be researching ways to limit extremist content on the internet.

Arden posted on Instagram Wednesday that she will be'speaking, teaching and learning'

She said that Harvard was an important partner for her in the work she did with Christchurch Call, an initiative that she helped launch two months after Christchurch's terrorist attack in which 51 people were killed in two mosques. The attacker livestreamed and posted a manifesto on the internet before the attack.

Ardern announced that she would miss the New Zealand election for a whole semester but return to New Zealand at the end. "After all, New Zealand's home!" She wrote.

Ardern was the third woman leader in New Zealand and the youngest in the world when she became prime minister at 37 in 2017. In less than a year she became only the second leader in history to give birth while in office.

Multiple crises characterized her time as leader, including the Christchurch terrorist attack, a deadly volcano explosion, and an international pandemic.

She became an icon of progressive progressivism, known for her empathy in steering New Zealand through the crises she faced and for taking her daughter to the United Nations General Assembly.

In New Zealand, her popularity declined due to the increasing cost of living, housing shortages, and economic anxiety. She was also threatened with violence in Wellington's capital, following violent protests against the lockdown.

Ardern's shock resignation was announced in January. She said she did not have enough fuel to run for an election.

She said her last goodbye to the world earlier this month in a passionate speech at the parliament. She told all the nerds and criers of the world, as well as huggers, mothers, ex-Mormons and other women: "You can be these things." You can not only be here, but you can also lead. Just like me.