Jacinda Ardern Takes up Leadership and Online Extremism Roles at Harvard

Jacinda Ardern Takes up Leadership and Online Extremism Roles at Harvard – Jacinda Ardern, the ex-prime minister of New Zealand, has recently announced her new positions at Harvard University. She will be undertaking joint fellowships at the Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, located at Harvard Law School.

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In an Instagram post, Ardern expressed her gratitude for the opportunity and revealed that she will concentrate on enhancing her leadership and governance abilities at the Kennedy School, while researching online extremism at the law school. The fellowships will begin in the autumn, and will take Ardern overseas for the period of the New Zealand election in October.

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Jacinda Ardern Takes up Leadership and Online Extremism Roles at Harvard

Ardern said that “While I’ll be gone for a semester (helpfully the one that falls during the NZ general election!) I’ll be coming back at the end of the fellowships. After all, New Zealand is home!” On a previous occasion, Ardern had the opportunity to visit Harvard University where she received an honorary doctorate of law. 

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During her visit, she delivered a speech on gun control and democracy at Harvard’s commencement, which received a standing ovation. During her tenure at Harvard University, the ex-prime minister will carry on with her efforts towards the Christchurch Call, which is a commitment made by tech companies and governments to prevent the dissemination of extremist and terrorist material online, developed after the Christchurch terror attacks.

The University stated that her studies will encompass exploring approaches to enhance content standards and platform accountability for extremist content on the internet, as well as examining the governance of artificial intelligence and the negative effects of algorithms. Additionally, she will continue to serve on the board of Prince William’s Earthshot Prize, which recognizes individuals and organizations that are addressing significant environmental challenges by awarding five £1m prizes annually. 

Prof Jonathan Zittrain, co-founder of the Berkman Klein Centre, said it was “rare and precious for a head of state to be able to immerse deeply in a complex and fast-moving digital policy issue both during and after their service,” and that “Ardern’s hard-won expertise – including her ability to bring diverse people and institutions together – will be invaluable as we all search for workable solutions to some of the deepest online problems.”

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Kennedy School Dean Douglas Elmendorf said in a statement that Ardern “showed the world strong and empathetic political leadership”. “She earned respect far beyond the shores of her country, and she will bring important insights for our students and will generate vital conversations about the public policy choices facing leaders at all levels.”

Ardern will hold three positions at Harvard University: the 2023 Angelopoulos Global Public Leaders Fellow, Hauser Leader at the Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership, and Knight Tech Governance Leadership Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, situated at Harvard Law School.

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