Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister, New Zealand

Jacinda Ardern is a New Zealand politician who in August 2017 became leader of the New Zealand Labour Party and then in October 2017, at age 37, became the country’s youngest prime minister in more than 150 years.

 

In 2005 Ardern embarked on an “overseas experience,” an extended—usually working—trip to Britain, which is a traditional rite of passage for the children of New Zealand’s middle and upper class. Instead of labouring in a London pub or warehouse and then touring the Continent, however, Ardern worked for two and a half years in the cabinet office of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, serving as an associate director for Better Regulation Executive with the primary responsibility of improving the ways in which local authorities interact with small businesses. In 2007 she was elected president of the International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY), a position that took her to destinations such as Algeria, China, India, Israel, Jordan, and Lebanon.

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