The former first lady had said she would be joined on her trip by a few "special guests"

By Adam Carlson
December 02, 2019 01:00 PM

In the fall, former First Lady Michelle Obama announced she was going to travel to Vietnam in December to spotlight girls’ education. She teased then that she would be joined by a few “special guests,” including Today co-host Jenna Bush Hager.

On Monday, the Obama Foundation announced a few more details about one of those guests: Julia Roberts.

The Homecoming star, 52, will first join Obama, 55, on Dec. 9 in Vietnam with the Girls Opportunity Alliance “to meet with local girls education organizations and beneficiaries of programs that help adolescent girls reach their full potential through education,” the Obama Foundation said in a news release.

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Then she’ll be on-stage for a conversation with Obama on Dec. 12 in Malaysia, moderated by Deborah Henry, a TV host and humanitarian.

There they will discuss the Vietnam trip, plus “lessons from their own leadership journeys and their path-breaking careers” and have a Q&A. The Obama Foundation is hosting its first-ever gathering of 200 civic leaders from Asia-Pacific in Kuala Lumpur from Dec. 10 to Dec. 14, including Roberts’ talk with the former first lady.

“More than 98 million adolescent girls aren’t in school, yet the evidence is clear: When girls get the opportunities they deserve, our whole world benefits,” Obama said on the Today show in October, in announcing the Vietnam trip. “That’s why we’ve been working to lift up grassroots leaders and organizations around the world who improve girls’ lives every day.”

Former First Lady Michelle Obama (left) and Julia Roberts
Charles Sykes/Invision/AP/Shutterstock; Jean-Baptiste LACROIX / AFP via Getty

Obama said then that some of the “incredible stories” of the girls met on that trip would air on Today and YouTube Originals.

“I’m so excited,” Hager, 38, said on Today in October, reacting to new of the Vietnam trip.

“It’s an awesome opportunity to help shine a light on all of those that are helping keep girls in schools,” she said. “We know that if a girl stays in school, they are more likely to help lift up not only themselves but their communities, too.”

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The Obama Foundation launched its Girls Opportunity Alliance last year. Since former President Barack Obama left office, his foundation with Mrs. Obama has been a major focus of their post-White House careers.

She also released a best-selling memoir, Becoming, in November 2018, while he is working on his own presidential memoir that could be released next year.

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