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Julia Roberts to Join Michelle Obama in Conversation at Leaders: Asia-Pacific Convening

December 2, 2019 at 12:30 PM CST

CHICAGO, IL — Today, the Obama Foundation announced that actress Julia Roberts will join Michelle Obama in a plenary conversation at the Obama Foundation’s inaugural Leaders: Asia-Pacific convening in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The conversation, moderated by humanitarian and former Miss Malaysia and TV host Deborah Henry, will take place on December 12, 2019.

Consistent with the Obama Foundation’s mission to inspire, empower, and connect people to change their world, the Leaders: Asia-Pacific program will bring together 200 Leaders from 33 countries and territories in the Asia Pacific from December 10-14 in Kuala Lumpur to participate in plenary sessions, skill-building workshops, and leadership training. The 200 Leaders come from the public, private, and non-profit sectors and will join the Foundation’s growing global network of changemakers.

Prior to the gathering in Malaysia, Mrs. Obama and Ms. Roberts are traveling to Vietnam on December 9 on behalf of the Obama Foundation’s Girls Opportunity Alliance to meet with local girls education organizations and beneficiaries of programs that help adolescent girls reach their full potential through education.

In Malaysia, Mrs. Obama and Ms. Roberts will share reflections about their trip to Vietnam, as well as lessons from their own leadership journeys and their path-breaking careers. Ms. Henry, who founded, a non-profit that runs a school and livelihood programs for refugees in Malaysia, will moderate the conversation with questions sourced from the 200 rising Leaders in attendance.

The Leaders: Asia-Pacific program builds on the Foundation’s work over the past two years with young leaders from Chicago to Johannesburg. In particular, the Leaders: Asia-Pacific program was informed by the insight of 21 Leaders from 16 countries in the Asia Pacific who helped design the program at a design workshop with President Obama in Hawai’i earlier this year.

Although the Leaders: Asia-Pacific event is closed to the public, the following plenary sessions will be made available via livestream at

Tuesday, 10 December, 11:30 am MYT / 10:30 pm ET (December 9)

Plenary: We Are the Future: Progress and Possibility in the Asia Pacific

Speakers: Arthur Huang, Aaron Maniam, Dr. Oyun Saanjasuren, YB Hannah Yeoh

Wednesday, 11 December, 9:30 am MYT / 8:30 pm ET (December 10)

Plenary: Entrepreneurship: Working with Purpose

Speakers: Tim Brown, Pat Dwyer, Tan Sri Dr. Tony Fernandes, Helianti Hilman

Thursday, 12 December, 11:00 am MYT / 10:00 pm ET (December 11)

Plenary: Michelle Obama and Julia Roberts in Conversation with Deborah Henry

Friday, 13 December, 11:30 am MYT / 10:30 pm ET (December 12)

How the Asia-Pacific Shaped Us: President Obama and Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng

For press related questions, or to apply for press credentials to cover the plenary sessions, please email [email protected] or [email protected].


Contact: Nicole Anaejionu, [email protected]