Jacinda Ardern reveals major career move after stepping down as NZ Prime Minister

Jacinda Ardern has revealed she will head to Harvard University for a semester after stepping down as New Zealand’s prime minister.

Ms Ardern, 42, teased the move during her final weeks as prime minister, telling reporters she plans to do some “speaking, teaching, and learning”.

“I’m incredibly humbled to be invited to join Harvard University later this year,” she wrote in a post to her 1.7M followers on Wednesday morning.

Ms Ardern has been named the 2023 Angelopoulos Global Public Leaders Fellow and a Hauser Leader in the Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership.

She explained that Harvard is an important partner as a special envoy to the Christchurch Call – a commitment she made during her term as prime minister after a terrorist attacked two mosques in Christchurch in 2019.

Camera IconJacinda Ardern announces she has been invited to join Harvard University. Instagram Credit: NCA NewsWire

The event was one of the most deadly attacks in the nation’s history after 51 people were killed and 50 people were left with serious injuries.

The Call is working with 120 governments across the globe to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.

“My semester there later this year will also be an opportunity to take up the first tech governance leadership fellowship at the Berkman Klien Center,” she told her followers.

“Not only will this be a chance to work collaboratively with the center’s research community, but also work on the challenges around the growth of generative AI tools.”

Ms Ardern said she hopes to share her experiences through future speaking engagements both in New Zealand and abroad.

While continuing the important work she started as the world’s youngest female head of government, she said she will also make time to learn while she is enrolled at one of the world’s top-ranked universities.

“While I’ll be gone for a semester (helpfully the one that falls during the NZ general election!),” she said.

“I’ll be coming back at the end of the fellowships. After all, New Zealand is home!”

Ms Ardern shocked the world when she announced in January that she would not be seeking re-election as prime minister.

Ms Ardern was a reluctant leader, stepping into the role of Labour leader just seven weeks out from the 2017 general election after Andrew Little stepped down.

Before being elected to the top office she learned she was pregnant with her first child, sparking questions on how she would be able to lead the country with a newborn.

She gave birth to daughter Neve on June 21 in 2018 and returned to work in August that year after taking six weeks maternity leave.

During her first term, she made international headlines when she was the first female leader to bring an infant into the UN General Assembly.

While she delivered her speech, long-term partner Clarke Gayford held three-month-old Neve.

Her time as prime minister has been marred with many disasters, including the 2019 mosque attacks, the White Island volcano disaster and the Covid pandemic.

The 42-year-old was planning to marry Mr Gayford in January last year but their plans were put on hold as the country battled its Omicron outbreak.

When announcing she would be stepping down, she explained it was due to having “no more in the tank”.“I am leaving because with such a privileged job comes a big responsibility. The responsibility to know when you are the right person to lead – and also when you’re not,” she said.

“I know when I have enough left in the tank to do it justice.

“I am human. We give as much as we can for as long as we can and then it’s time. And for me, it’s time.“To Neve, mum is looking forward to being there when you start school next year. And to Clarke, let’s get married.”

Ardern is yet to announce a date for her wedding to fiance Clarke Gayford which she also teased during her departure speech.

The couple – who share three-year-old Neve – have been engaged since 2019 and were forced to cancel their wedding during the pandemic.

She gave her final speech to parliament earlier this month as she offically stepped down as the member for Mt Albert.

She was replaced by Chris Hipkins in January.

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