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Deans Leadership Guest: A Fireside Chat With Jacinda Ardern and Razia Iqbal
Jacinda Ardern was elected Prime Minister of New Zealand in 2017 at the age of 37 and became the country's youngest Prime Minister in more than 150 years. Ardern was the world's youngest female head of government.
Former Prime Minister Ardern was born in the city of Hamilton, New Zealand. She attended high school before g raduating from the University of Waikato with a Bachelor of Communication Studies in Politics and Public Relations. While studying, the Prime Minister joined the New Zealand Labour Party at age 18.
Post-university, she worked as an adviser in the office of then-Prime Minister Helen Clark. In 2005 she went to London and worked in the Government Cabinet Office of British Prime Minister Tony Blair as an Assistant Director for Better Regulation Executive in the Department for Business and Enterprise, and on a review of Policing in England and Wales. In 2007 she was elected President of the International Union of Socialist Youth. The following year she entered New Zealand’s Parliament as a list candidate. At age 28 she entered the House of Representatives as its youngest member.
She became the MP for the Auckland electorate Mt Albert in early 2017, and the Leader of the Labour Party in August 2017. As well as Prime Minister, she held the roles of Minister for National Security and Intelligence, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, and Minister for Child Poverty Reduction.
On 2 December 2020, Ardern declared a climate change emergency in New Zealand and pledged that the Government would be carbon neutral by 2025 in a parliamentary motion.
In 2018 Former Prime Minister Arden gave birth to her first child, and became the first leader of a country in 30 years to give birth while in office.
In 2023, Ardern was awarded the accolade — Dame Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit — the country’s second highest honor.
Razia Iqbal currently holds the John L Weinberg/Goldman Sachs chair at SPIA. She has been a journalist with the BBC for more than three decades. Most recently, she was the main anchor for Newshour. She has reported from many countries including Turkey; Germany; India; Israel, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia and the United States.
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