Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister of New Zealand

Key Info

  • Bachelor of Communication Studies
  • Public Relations

Former Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern completed a Bachelor of Communication Studies in Public Relations and Political Science at Waikato Management School from 1999 to 2001.

Elected Prime Minister at 37 years old, Jacinda became the world's youngest female head of government in 2017.

In 2018, when her daughter Neve was born, Jacinda become only the second modern head of government to give birth while still in office (after Pakistan's Benazir Bhutto).

Jacinda was born in Hamilton and grew up in Morrinsville and Murupara.

After graduating from the University of Waikato, Jacinda spent time working as a researcher in the office of then Prime Minister Helen Clark and Minister of Foreign Affairs Phil Goff.

She then moved overseas to London, where she worked as a senior policy advisor for British Prime Minister Tony Blair in the UK Cabinet Office. She was also seconded to the Home Office to assist with a review of policing in England and Wales.

In 2007, Jacinda became the second woman ever elected president of the International Union of Socialist Youth, the world's largest international political youth organisation, which saw her spend time in countries such as Jordan, Israel, Algeria and China.

Jacinda first stood as a candidate for the Labour Party in Waikato in 2008 and entered Parliament for the first time as a list MP. In 2017 she became MP for Mt Albert in a by-election, and just a month later she was unanimously elected as deputy leader of the Labour Party.

Following Andrew Little's resignation, Jacinda was elected unopposed as leader of the Labour Party on 1 August 2017. Within two months she had been elected as New Zealand's third female Prime Minister.

She resigned from the role in January 2023 after five-and-a-half memorable years. This included steering the country through the March 15 Christchurch mosques terrorist attacks, the White Island volcanic eruption, and the Covid-19 pandemic.

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