Julia Gillard

Julia Gillard

Nonresident Distinguished Fellow – Global Economy and Development, Center for Universal Education

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 and in her previous role as deputy prime minister, Gillard was central to the successful management of Australia’s economy, the 12th biggest economy in the world, during the global financial crisis and as Australia positioned to seize the benefits of Asia’s rise.  Gillard developed Australia’s guiding policy paper, “Australia in the Asian Century.” Gillard delivered nation-changing policies including reforming Australia 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 scheme to care for people with disabilities and restructuring the telecommunications sector as well as advancing a national broadband network. In foreign policy, Gillard strengthened Australia’s alliance with the United States, secured stronger architecture for the relationship with China, upgraded Australia’s ties with India, and deepened ties with Japan, Indonesia, and South Korea. Gillard has represented Australia at the G20, including winning Australia’s right to host the 2014 meeting, the East Asia Summit, APEC, NATO-ISAF, and chaired CHOGM.  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, Gillard received worldwide attention for her speech in parliament on the treatment of women in professional and public life.

Gillard is a nonresident distinguished fellow with the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution. In 2021, she was appointed chair of Wellcome, a global charitable foundation based in the U.K., which supports science to solve urgent worldwide health challenges. She is also the founder and inaugural chair of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership (GIWL) at King’s College London and the Australian National University. GIWL strives for a world where being a woman is neither a barrier to becoming a leader in any field, nor a contributor to negative perceptions of an individual’s leadership. She also serves as patron of CAMFED, the Campaign for Female Education, which tackles poverty and inequality by supporting girls to go to school and succeed, and empowering young women to step up as leaders of change. Gillard is also an honorary professor at the University of Adelaide and is patron of the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library in Perth, Western Australia.

In 2014, Gillard joined the board of Beyond Blue, one of Australia’s foremost mental health awareness bodies, and served as chair from 2017 to 2023. From 2014 to 2021, she was chair of the Global Partnership for Education, a leading organization dedicated to expanding access and quality education worldwide. She has also previously served on the board of governors of the committee for Economic Development of Australia and as chancellor of Dūcere, an Australian-based online education provider offering courses in business and management.

Gillard’s memoirs, “My Story,” were published by Random House in 2014. Her second book, “Women and Leadership: Real Lives, Real Lessons,” co‑authored with Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, explores the challenges women face in leadership. Her third book, “Not Now, Not Ever: 10 Years on From the Misogyny Speech,” was released in October 2022.

  • Areas of Expertise

    • Education
    • Global Financial Crisis
    • Job Creation
    • Carbon Tax and Clean Energy
    • G20
    • Public Health
    • Broadband Policy
    • Women and Leadership
  • Current Positions

    • Chair, Wellcome
    • Founder and Inaugural Chair, Global institute for Women's Leadership
    • Patron, CAMFED - Campaign for Female Education
    • Honorary Professor, University of Adelaide
  • Past Positions

    • Chair, Global Partnership for Education
    • Prime Minister of Australia
    • Deputy Prime Minister of Australia
    • Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and Social Inclusion, Australia
    • Shadow Minister for Health, Australia
    • Member of Australian Parliament, Electorate of Lalor
  • Education

    • Degrees in Arts and Law, University of Melbourne
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