Dame Jenny Shipley is the first female Prime Minister of New Zealand and served in office from 1997 to 1999.
Jenny Shipley was born in 1952. She graduated from Christchurch Teachers’ College in 1972. She joined the National Party (NP) in 1975. Shipley held numerous positions in the NP, and in 1987 she was elected to Parliament. Shipley served as the Minister of Social Welfare (1990–93) and Minister of Women’s Affairs (1990–96).
Since retiring from politics in 2002 Jenny has been a regular visitor to China in her role as a Professional Company Director and keynote speaker. In 2007 she was appointed as a Director on the Shanghai and Hong Kong listed Fortune 500 company, China Construction Bank, a role from which she has since resigned. She chairs five companies in NZ including Genesis Energy, Mainzeal Construction, Senior Money International, Momentum Consulting and the Financial Services Council and is a Director on Trans-Tasman Resources.
She was an Initiator of the Education Forum for East Asia. She has established an education trust in Namibia. She is an active member of the World Women’s Leadership Council and is Vice President of the Club of Madrid, a group of 80 former Presidents and Prime Ministers who promote democracy and transparent economic development, globally.
She chairs Global Women NZ, is Patron of the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre, and chairs the national coordinating committee planning the Tuia: First Encounters 250 commemorations in 2019.