Jacinda Ardern, the former prime minister of New Zealand, has announced that she will become a fellow at Harvard University later this year.
According to a news release from the Ivy League university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Ms Ardern has been selected for two fellowships.
Ms Ardern served as prime minister of New Zealand for over five years and resigned from her position in January, stating that she did not have “enough in the tank”.
Harvard announced on Tuesday that Ms Ardern will be joining their campus in the fall as a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, holding dual fellowships as the 2023 Angelopoulos Global Public Leaders Fellow and a Hauser Leader in the School’s Center for Public Leadership.
The university praised Ms Ardern’s “strong and empathetic” political leadership in their announcement, stating that she had earned respect beyond her country’s borders.
As an Angelopoulos fellow, Ms Ardern will have the opportunity to stay at Harvard and support students and faculty in developing leadership skills.
Her second fellowship, under Harvard Law School, will focus on studying ways to improve standards and accountability in order to combat extremist content posted online.
Ms Ardern expressed her humility at the opportunity to join Harvard, saying that it would allow her to share her experiences with others and to learn from them.
She also stressed the importance of reflection for leaders, stating that it is critical to properly support the next generation of leaders.
Ms Ardern gained international recognition for her leadership style, particularly after the deadly mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch in 2019 that claimed the lives of 51 people.
She was also commended for her handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, although her public health policies were criticized by some who opposed lockdowns.
In 2022, Ms Ardern delivered the commencement address at Harvard, where she spoke out against the online “scourge of disinformation” and earned a standing ovation for her government’s gun control policies.
She became prime minister at the age of 37 in 2017, making her the youngest female head of government at that time.