Kevin Michael Rudd (born 21 September 1957) is an Australian politician who has been the Prime Minister of Australia and the Leader of the Labor Party since 27 June 2013. He was previously Prime Minister from 2007 to 2010, and Labor Leader from 2006 to 2010. He is the first former Prime Minister to return to the office since Robert Menzies in 1949, and only the second Labor Prime Minister to do so.
Having previously served as a diplomat, and then as an official for the Queensland Government, Rudd was initially elected to the House of Representatives for Griffith at the 1998 election. He was promoted to the Shadow Cabinet in 2001 as Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs. In December 2006, he successfully challenged Kim Beazley to become the Leader of the Labor Party, subsequently becoming the Leader of the Opposition. Under Rudd, Labor overtook the incumbent Liberal/National Coalition led by John Howard in the polls, making a number of policy announcements on areas such as industrial relations, health, climate change, an "education revolution", and a National Broadband Network.
Labor won the 2007 election with a 23-seat swing in its favour, and Rudd was sworn in as the 26th Prime Minister of Australia on 3 December. Rudd Government's first acts included signing the Kyoto Protocol and delivering an apology to Indigenous Australians for the Stolen Generations. The previous government's industrial relations legislation, WorkChoices, was largely dismantled, Australia's remaining Iraq War combat personnel were withdrawn, and the "Australia 2020 Summit" was held. In response to the global financial crisis, the government provided economic stimulus packages, and Australia was one of the few developed countries to avoid the late-2000s recession.
Despite a long period of popularity in opinion polls, a significant fall in Rudd's personal ratings was blamed on a proposed Resource Super Profits Tax and the deferral of the Senate-rejected Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. With the next election drawing near, there was growing dissatisfaction with Rudd's leadership within the Labor Party. Eventually, Rudd's deputy, Julia Gillard, announced on 23 June 2010 that she would challenge him for the leadership the following day. Knowing he would be defeated if he contested the leadership, on the morning of the ballot Rudd resigned as Prime Minister. After his resignation, he successfully re-contested his seat at the 2010 election, after which Labor formed a minority government.
He was subsequently promoted back to the Cabinet by Prime Minister Julia Gillard as Minister for Foreign Affairs, a post he remained in until he resigned on 22 February 2012 after an unsuccessful attempt to challenge Gillard for the leadership. Following persistent tensions, Gillard announced another caucus ballot on the leadership on 26 June 2013, from which Rudd emerged victorious. He was sworn in as Prime Minister for a second time the following day, and formed his second Cabinet, which contained a record number of women. He is also the first Australian Prime Minister to publicly support same-sex marriage.
September 17, 2010