Julia Gillard's Headshot

Julia Gillard

Former Prime Minister of Australia - Panelist Blurb

Julia Gillard was sworn in as the 27th Prime Minister of Australia on June 24, 2010 and served in that office until June 2013.

As Prime Minister, Gillard was central to the successful management of Australia’s economy, the 12th largest in the world, during the global financial crisis. Gillard delivered nation-changing policies including reforming education at every level from early childhood to university education, creating an emissions trading scheme, improving the provision and sustainability of health care, aged care and dental care, commencing the nation’s first-ever national system to care for people with disabilities, restructuring the telecommunications sector, and advancing a national broadband network.

In foreign policy, Gillard strengthened Australia’s alliance with the United States, secured stronger architecture for their relationship with China, upgraded Australia’s ties with India, and deepened ties with Japan, Indonesia, and South Korea. Gillard represented Australia at the G20, including winning Australia’s right to host the 2014 summit. Under Gillard’s leadership, Australia was elected to serve on the United Nations Security Council.

Gillard is the first woman to ever serve as Australia’s Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister. In October 2012, she received worldwide attention for her speech in Parliament on the treatment of women in professional and public life. In recognition of her public service, Gillard was awarded a Companion in the Order of Australia, the country’s highest recognition for achievement and service.

Gillard is a Distinguished Senior Fellow with the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution in Washington. In February 2014, she was appointed Chair of the Global Partnership for Education, the only multilateral organization dedicated to expanding access to quality education in developing countries. 

She serves as Patron of Camfed, the Campaign for Female Education, which tackles poverty and inequality by supporting girls in sub-Saharan Africa to go to school and succeed, and empowering young women to step up as leaders of change. In July 2017, Gillard became Chair of beyondblue, Australia’s leading mental health awareness body, and in April 2018, she was appointed Inaugural Chair of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at Kings College, London. Through research, practice, and advocacy, the Institute will address women’s underrepresentation in leadership positions and the way gender negatively impacts the valuation of women leaders.

Gillard’s memoirs, My Story, were published by Random House in September 2014.