New life ... Kevin Rudd will split his time between Australia, China and the US. Photo: Wolter Peeters
Former prime minister and noted sinophile Kevin Rudd will lead research on US-China relations at Harvard University.
Mr Rudd has been appointed a senior fellow with Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and a visiting fellow with Harvard's Institute of Politics. He will take up the posts next week.
In a statement, the ivy-league university announced that Mr Rudd would be at the forefront of the school's major research on the "possibilities and impacts of a new strategic relationship between China and the United States".
"With China on track to surpass the US as the world's largest economy during the next decade, the initiative will explore the shape of a new relationship and its impact on the global order," the Harvard statement said.
"Mr Rudd is a Chinese language speaker, a student of Chinese history, and has lived and worked in China. His China-related career goes back 30 years."
He will split his time between Boston, China and Australia.
"We are extremely fortunate to have Kevin Rudd joining the Harvard community,” Belfer Center director Graham Allison said. “Drawing on lessons learned during a distinguished career in politics and government, he will bring a unique strategic and practical perspective on a range of international challenges."
Mr Rudd said: "I am delighted to be working at Harvard.
“I am very much looking forward to working in America's oldest university, as well as the leading university in world rankings. I believe the China project is important if we are to advance both the concept and the substance of what the Chinese call 'a new type of great power relationship' between Washington and Beijing. This will also impact China's neighbours in Asia, and in time the future of the broader regional and global rules based order."
The statement from Harvard noted Mr Rudd's stewardship of Australia's response to the global economic crisis, saying Australia's response to the crisis "was reviewed as one of the most effective stimulus strategies in the world with Australia the only major advanced economy not to go into recession".