Global Business Briefing with His Excellency Dr. Kevin Rudd, Ambassador of Australia to the U.S.

The Australian Ambassador sits to the left of Meridian CEO, Ambassador Stuart Holliday who begins his seated remarks to start the program.
Ambassador Kevin Rudd (Embassy of Australia) and Meridian CEO, Ambassador Stuart Holliday are seated during the Global Business Briefing on February 22nd, 2024. Photo by Stephen Bobb.

On February 22, 2024, the Meridian Corporate Council partnered with Organon and Pfizer to host a Global Business Briefing with His Excellency Dr. Kevin Rudd, Ambassador of Australia to the U.S. The discussion, moderated by The Honorable Stuart Holliday, Chief Executive Officer, Meridian International Center, covered dynamics of the Indo-Pacific, IPEF, AUKUS, and how the private sector can help advance economic growth across the region.

About His Excellency Dr. Kevin Rudd

His Excellency Dr. Kevin Rudd is Australia’s Ambassador to the United States of America, taking up his posting in Washington in March 2023. Ambassador Rudd served as Australia’s twenty-sixth Prime Minister from 2007 to 2010, then as Minister for Foreign Affairs, before a second term as Prime Minister in 2013. He was Member for Griffith in the Australian Parliament from 1998 to 2013. Since leaving government, Ambassador Rudd has resided in the United States where he is recognized as a leading analyst of China. In 2015, he became the inaugural President of the Asia Society Policy Institute in New York. In 2020, he was appointed President and CEO of the Asia Society globally and, in 2022, he founded the Asia Society Policy Institute’s Center for China Analysis. In 2019, Ambassador Rudd was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia for eminent service to Indigenous reconciliation, innovative economic initiatives, and major policy reform, and through senior advisory roles with international organizations. Ambassador Rudd holds honorary positions at the Atlantic Council and Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC; the Asia Society, Schwartzman Scholars and Bloomberg New Economy Forum in New York; the Paulson Institute in Chicago; the Paris School of International Affairs at Sciences Po in Paris, France; the Chancellor Helmut Schmidt Foundation in Hamburg, Germany; and Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House in Canberra. He is founder and co-chair of an Australian charity, the National Apology Foundation, and a trustee of the Cathedral of St John the Divine in New York City.

Here are some takeaways from the program:

Almost half of global trade and about 62% of global GDP comes from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and its unique partnership of 21 member economies. As a critical actor in the Indo-Pacific, Australia’s foreign and security policy interests have been largely defined by its position and relationships with all countries in the region. For Australia, relations with China have stabilized over the last few months with some progress in trade relations. It will be a pivotal year to see how Australia preserve’s the status quo in the Indo-Pacific and maintains amicable relations through deterrence. Helping stabilize relations is the history of cultural exchange and bilateral trade relations between Australia and China. As Australia and the United States celebrate the 20-year anniversary of the U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that entered into force on January 1, 2005 the relationship remains robust and is one of the most important in the region.

Project summary

Global Business Briefing with His Excellency Dr. Kevin Rudd, Ambassador of Australia to the U.S. | February 2024
Number of Visitors: 25
Number of Attendees: 25
Regions: East Asia and Pacific
Countries: Australia
Impact Areas: Business and Trade, Foreign Policy, Security and Defense
Program Areas: Corporate Diplomacy
Partners: Diplomatic Corps, Private Sector