Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern is a leader for a new generation, one tired of inertia in the face of pressing issues such as climate change, immigration and the rise of far-right terrorism. Ardern was catapulted onto the international stage with her grace and compassion following the Christchurch mosque shooting. Oprah Winfrey invited us to ‘channel our inner Jacindas’ as praise for Ardern flooded headlines and social media.
The world’s youngest female head of government, and only the second elected world leader to give birth while in office, Ardern describes herself as a progressive and a social democrat. In this revealing biography, journalist Madeleine Chapman discovers the woman behind the headlines. Politically engaged from an early age, Ardern has encountered her fair share of sexism, but rather than let that harden her she advocates ‘rising above’ critics. In her first press conference, she announced an election campaign of ‘relentless positivity’. The tactic was a resounding success: donations poured in and Labour rebounded in the polls.
But can Ardern live up to her promise? What does her new style of leadership look like in practice? And what can we learn from the world’s reaction to this inspiring leader?