Ambassador Caroline Kennedy presented her credentials to the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia on July 25, 2022. She previously served as U.S. Ambassador to Japan from 2013 – 2017. She played a critical role in the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, culminating in the historic visits of President Obama to Hiroshima and Prime Minister Abe to Pearl Harbor. She advanced realignment of the U.S. forces in Okinawa, promoted women’s empowerment in Japan, and increased student exchange. In 2017, she founded the International Poetry Exchange Project to connect students virtually in Japan, Korea, the Philippines, and the Bronx through the power of spoken word. In November 2021, she was awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun, the highest honor for which foreigners are eligible, for her efforts to strengthen the U.S.-Japan alliance.
Prior to her time in Japan, Kennedy was at the forefront of education reform efforts in NYC, creating public-private partnerships to promote arts education, school libraries, and performing arts spaces. She served as CEO of the Office of Strategic Partnerships at the NYC Department of Education (2002-2004), Vice Chair for the Fund for Public Schools (2002-2011), and on the Board of New Visions for Public Schools.
An attorney and author, Kennedy has published 11 New York Times best-selling books on law, civics and poetry. She is Honorary President of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. She served as a Trustee of numerous non-profit organizations, including the Carnegie Corporation, International Rescue Committee and NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, as Co-Chair of the Harvard Institute of Politics, and as a Director of the Boeing Company. She is a graduate of Harvard University and Columbia Law School.