Former President Barack Obama to Join Bill and Melinda Gates and Other Leaders at Goalkeepers Event in New York

Inaugural Gates Foundation Events to Highlight Progress Against Global Poverty and Disease, Showcase Innovative Solutions to Advance the Global Goals

SEATTLE, Sept. 8, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Former President Barack Obama will join Bill and Melinda Gates, co-chairs of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, at the inaugural Goalkeepers Event on Sept. 20 in New York City to celebrate progress toward eliminating disease and poverty around the world, and inspire a new generation of advocates to work on behalf of these causes.

The 44th president of the United States and Bill and Melinda Gates will be joined by activist Malala Yousafzai, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, and others to be announced soon, to recognize the remarkable advances in global health and poverty reduction over the past 25 years.

UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed will co-host the Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards dinner with Melinda Gates on Sept. 19.

Participants at the Sept. 20 event will share data and innovative solutions to ensure progress continues and the ambitious targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (or Global Goals) are met. Partnerships focusing on women’s empowerment, digital financial inclusion and community health workers will be announced as “Accelerators” and tasked with speeding up progress to achieve the goals.

Goalkeepers will bring together a new generation of influencers and leaders from all corners of the world—from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Afghanistan, from Canada to China—who will discuss and devise innovative solutions to achieve the Global Goals. Confirmed participants in Goalkeepers 2017 so far include Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, founder and editor in chief of; Jack Andraka, inventor, scientist and global health researcher; Memory Banda, founder of Girls4Change; Richard Curtis, screenwriter, producer and film director; Minda Dentler, athlete, polio survivor and health advocate; Stephen Fry, actor, writer and presenter; Leymah Gbowee, Liberian peace activist and leader of Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace; Jerome Jarre and Jaunpa Zurita entrepreneurs and members of Love Army, George the Poet, artist and rapper; Bina Maseno, champion for women and youth leadership; Dr. Denis Mukwege, world-renowned gynecological surgeon; Kennedy Odede, community organizer in Kibera; Dr Raj Panjabi, CEO of Last Mile Health and 2017 TED Prize winner; Isha Sesay, anchor for CNN; Astro Teller, X, Alphabet’s moonshot factory; Laurel Weldon, Distinguished Professor, Purdue University; and, global music artist.

The Sept. 19 Global Goals Awards dinner, co-hosted by UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed and Melinda Gates, will honor outstanding activists and groups who have demonstrated a positive impact on people’s lives and are inspiring others to accelerate progress. The co-hosts will be joined by Gates Foundation CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann. As part of the evening, there will be a special performance by musician Lily Allen.

The Gates Foundation will livestream the Sept. 19 and 20 Goalkeepers events.

On Sept. 13, Bill and Melinda Gates will launch their inaugural Goalkeepers report, analyzing health and development indicators and providing statistical projections. The report was created in partnership with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington to showcase advances made since 1990 and warn of the lives at stake if progress falters.

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About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.

About Goalkeepers
Goalkeepers is the foundation’s first annual report and global event dedicated to accelerating progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (or Global Goals). By sharing stories and data behind the Goals, we hope to inspire a new generation of leaders—Goalkeepers who raise awareness of progress, hold their leaders accountable and drive action to achieve the Goals.

About the Global Goals
On September 25, 2015, at the United Nations headquarters in New York, 193 world leaders committed to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (or Global Goals). These are a series of ambitious objectives and targets to achieve three extraordinary things in the next 15 years: end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and fix climate change.

Project Everyone, co-creators of Goalkeepers, was founded by writer, director and SDG Advocate Richard Curtis with the ambition to help achieve the Global Goals through raising awareness, holding leaders accountable and driving action. Find out more at

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