January 2017 – New York City: Celebrating a half-century, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) presented its first-ever gala fundraiser, the inaugural “Global Goals Gala: A Night for Change” at Phillips on Park Avenue in Manhattan.

Hosted by Emmy-nominated executive producer and host of Top Chef, and New York Times best-selling author Padma Lakshmi, the event featured a performance by Grateful Dead singer / guitarist and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Bob Weir. Presentations were made by three of UNDP’s current Goodwill Ambassadors; His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and actors Connie Britton and Michelle Yeoh – all of whom showcased the UNDP’s efforts around the globe by sharing personal highlights of their work with the organization.

Ms. Lakshmi spoke of women’s empowerment and education in New York City, including her work with her Endometriosis Foundation. UNDP Chief Helen Clark commented on the UNDP’s need to reach out to a wider audience, bringing together business, celebrity, and society to further the Program’s global goals.


Ms. Yeoh detailed her work to empower the women of Nepal-Burma and to eradicate poverty.


The Program’s honored guests also included Tribal Planet CEO Jeff Martin, and the organization’s corporate partners Deutsche Post DHL and Baidu. The honorees received the “UNDP People and Planet Award” in recognition of their accomplishments.

The United Nations Development Programme works in nearly 170 countries to eliminate poverty and has helped improve the lives of billions of people. The program also partners with governments, communities, businesses, and individuals to create a world where all people prosper and the planet is protected from harm. UNDP has teamed up with nations across the globe to help them achieve the 17 new Global Goals to end poverty.