Rudd think tank CEO resigns over Epstein

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A global think tank chaired by ex-Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd has accepted the resignation of its president, after discovering he had borrowed money from US financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

CEO Terje Rod-Larsen apologised to the board of the United Nations-affiliated International Peace Institute for his "failed judgment" in securing the $US130,000 personal loan as well as donations from foundations set up by the convicted pedophile.

Mr Rod-Larsen's departure comes after Mr Rudd has convened an extraordinary board meeting overnight on Thursday.

"Epstein's crimes were hideous," it said in a statement.

"The notion that IPI would be in any way engaged with such an odious character is repugnant to the institution's core values."

Epstein, through his foundations, donated $US650,000 to the IPI between 2011 and 2019, a revelation Mr Rudd said on Thursday was "deeply disturbing".

"I first learned of contributions from Epstein's foundations to the IPI in November 2019 through reporting by the Norwegian press. I was blindsided by this," he said in a statement.

"These revelations were deeply disturbing to me and to other members of the board."

The institute's work includes combating human trafficking and sexual violence.

The IPI has since donated a sum equivalent to any donations received from Epstein's foundations to programs that support victims of human trafficking and sexual assault.

Epstein was convicted in Florida in 2008 of procuring an underage girl for prostitution.

In July last year, he was arrested on federal charges for the sex trafficking of minors in Florida and New York but was found dead in his US prison cell a month later.