The United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney is pleased to announce the appointment of The Hon Kristina Keneally to its Board of Directors.

Ms Keneally is the 42nd Premier of New South Wales (2009-2011) and the first woman to hold the office. During her time in State Parliament, she served as Minister for Planning, Minister for Infrastructure, Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Ageing, Minister for Redfern Waterloo and Government Spokesperson for World Youth Day.

Ms Keneally is now the Director of Gender Inclusion and Adjunct Professor at Macquarie Graduate School of Management. She is a contributor at Sky News Australia and a columnist for The Guardian Australia.

Born to an American father and Australian mother, Ms Keneally grew up in the United States, where she completed her secondary and tertiary education. She served as the President of the National Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities from 1990-1991 and was selected for the Ohio Governor’s Honours Program, where she worked as an intern for Ohio Governor Richard Celeste.

Chairman of the USSC Board, Mark Baillie, said that Ms Keneally’s breadth of experience and leadership skills in both the United States and Australia make her an ideal addition to the Centre’s Board.

"Kristina’s background and achievements to date exemplify the close relationship between Australia and the United States. This will underpin what I am sure will be her substantial contribution to the ongoing work of the Centre in the coming years.”

The Centre's CEO, Simon Jackman, also congratulated Ms Keneally on her appointment.

"Kristina Keneally's remarkable life story spans a childhood and tertiary education in the American heartland, to serving as Premier of Australia’s most populous state, to now working in media and on issues of gender equality and inclusion in Australian business," he said.

"Ms Keneally is unique in the way her compelling personal and professional trajectory — and the rich set of experiences and insights she has accumulated — will support the Centre’s mission of deepening Australian understandings of the United States, with special emphasis on generating research of most value to Australian political and business leaders, and policy makers."

Ms Keneally said she is looking forward to working with her fellow board members to strengthen the Centre's policy and research activities.

"I'm delighted to join the Board of the USSC, an institution that has successfully enhanced awareness and understanding between the land of my birth and my adopted home land," she said.

"There is great opportunity for the USSC to further shape and inform debate in both countries on foreign and domestic policy challenges."

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