Helen Clark Press Photo High Res

Helen Clark

Former Prime Minister of New Zealand

Helen Clark was Prime Minister of New Zealand for three successive terms from 1999–2008. She was the first woman to become Prime Minister following a General Election in New Zealand and the second woman to serve as Prime Minister.

Throughout her tenure as Prime Minister and as a Member of Parliament over 27 years, Helen Clark engaged widely in policy development and advocacy across the international affairs, economic, social, environmental, and cultural spheres.

In April 2009, Helen Clark became Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme. She was the first woman to lead the organisation, and served two terms there.  As Administrator, she led UNDP to be ranked the most transparent global development organisation. She completed her tenure in April 2017.

Helen Clark is the former Co-Chair of The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response, which examined the global response to COVID-19. In May 2021, with Co-Chair Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the Independent Panel recommended an evidence-based package of actions to the World Health Assembly intended to transform the international system for pandemic preparedness and response. Since then, Helen Clark has actively championed the recommendations and has published a series of new reports with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Helen continues to speak widely and be a strong voice on sustainable development, climate action, gender equality and women’s leadership, peace and justice, and action on non-communicable diseases and on HIV. She serves on several advisory boards and commissions, including as Chair of the Board of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, and Chair of the Board of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health.


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