Julia Gillard, Former Prime Minister of Australia, Joins Brookings

Washington, D.C. – Julia Gillard, former prime minister of Australia, has joined the Brookings Institution as a nonresident senior fellow, Brookings President Strobe Talbott announced today. Gillard will be affiliated with the Brookings Institution’s Center for Universal Education.

“We are honored to have Julia join Brookings. With her experience as a political leader and prime minister, and as an education reformer, she will bring expertise and distinction to the center and its mission,” said Talbott.

Gillard, a long-serving politician with solid achievements in promoting education reform as a top priority in Australia and beyond, will participate in a wide range of events and research projects to advance some of the center’s key initiatives on global education, particularly girls’ education in developing countries.

“I am honored and delighted to accept the invitation to become affiliated with global education programs at the Center for Universal Education at Brookings,” said Gillard. “I very much look forward to making a contribution to the effectiveness and reach of these important initiatives, and advancing the policy objectives and outcomes we share.”

During her tenure as prime minister of Australia, Gillard emphasized the importance of making education central to Australia’s economic agenda and developing the skills needed to secure quality employment that can build a high-productivity, high-participation economy. Under Gillard's leadership as prime minister, the Australian government extended financial support to families with children in school for their classroom needs, improved school transparency and accountability by launching an online platform for parents to view statistics and information on schools, and introduced legislation to establish the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency.

Prior to becoming Australia’s first female prime minister, Gillard served as the country’s deputy prime minister and was responsible for the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. In this role, Gillard traveled to Washington, where she signed an agreement with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to encourage improved policy collaboration in education reform between both the United States and Australia. She also oversaw the government's Building the Education Revolution program, which allocated $16 billion (AUD) to build new school infrastructure, including classrooms, libraries and assembly halls.

Gillard was first elected to the House of Representatives in Australia in 1998. Prior to joining government, Gillard worked as an industrial and labor rights lawyer with Slater and Gordon, a law firm in Australia. Gillard holds bachelor of arts and bachelor of laws degrees from the University of Melbourne.