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U.S. President Obama meets with Australian Prime Minister in Washington
U.S. President Barack Obama (R) meets with Prime Minister of Australia Kevin Rudd in the Oval office of the White House in Washington on March 24, 2009. (UPI PhotoGary Fabiano/Pool)
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Kevin Michael Rudd (born 21 September 1957) is an Australian politician who was the 26th Prime Minister of Australia from 2007 to 2010. He has been Minister for Foreign Affairs since 2010. A member of the Australian Labor Party, Rudd has served in the House of Representatives since the 1998 federal election, representing Griffith, Queensland.

Rudd was born in Queensland and grew up on a dairy farm. He joined the Australian Labor Party at the age of 15 and was dux of Nambour State High School in 1974. He studied an arts degree in Asian studies at the Australian National University, majoring in Chinese language and Chinese history. In 1981, he married Thérèse Rein and they have three children. He worked for the Department of Foreign Affairs from 1981 and from 1988 he was Chief of Staff to the Queensland Labor Opposition Leader and later Premier, Wayne Goss. After the Goss government lost office in 1995, Rudd was hired as a Senior China Consultant by the accounting firm KPMG Australia.

Rudd was elected to Parliament in 1998 and was promoted to the Labor frontbench in 2001 as Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs. In December 2006 he had become the leader of the Labor party and Leader of the Opposition; the party overtook the incumbent Liberal/National coalition government led by John Howard, in both party and leadership polling. Rudd made policy announcements on areas such as industrial relations, climate change, an "education revolution", a National Broadband Network, and health. Labor won the 2007 election, with a 23-seat swing. The Rudd government's first acts included signing the Kyoto Protocol and delivering an apology to Indigenous Australians for the stolen generations. The previous government's industrial relations legislation, WorkChoices, was largely dismantled, Australia's remaining Iraq War combat personnel were withdrawn, and the "Australia 2020 Summit" was held. In response to the Global Financial Crisis, the government provided economic stimulus packages, and Australia was one of the few western countries to avoid the late-2000s recession.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Kevin Rudd."
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