United Nations Development Programme appoints acclaimed actor Michelle Yeoh as Goodwill Ambassador

Mar 15, 2016

Newly-appointed Goodwill Ambassador Michelle Yeoh with UNDP Administrator Helen Clark. Credit: Dylan Lowthian / UNDP

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon star joins UNDP to fight poverty and mobilize action
around the new Sustainable Development Goals


New York, March 15, 2016 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today appointed award-winning action heroine Michelle Yeoh as its newest Goodwill Ambassador. The Malaysian-born actress will focus on raising awareness and mobilizing support for the recently launched Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“I want to be there for all those who are left behind in this world, whether it’s because they are born poor, born a woman or born in an area affected by devastation,” said Michelle Yeoh, speaking at a press conference held at UNDP headquarters in New York City. “As a UNDP Goodwill Ambassador, I want to do all I can to help people overcome barriers and have a shot at a better life, in a safer world, on a healthier planet.”

Having personally experienced the deadly earthquake that struck Nepal while she was visiting the country in April 2015, Yeoh will leverage her influence as an actress and advocate to shine a spotlight on disaster recovery efforts in Nepal and beyond.  She will also pursue her longstanding passion for global development issues, including gender equality and the eradication of poverty.

“We are truly excited to welcome someone as energetic and passionate as Michelle Yeoh to our global UNDP family,” said UNDP Administrator Helen Clark. “This is a critically important year for development and for UNDP, as we challenge ourselves and the world to implement the new global goals. We need strong partners like Michelle to join our efforts to make the shared vision of a brighter, stronger future a reality for us all.”

Internationally acclaimed for her roles in the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies, Ang Lee’s multiple Academy Award-winning Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and its recently released sequel, Yeoh is equally renowned for her advocacy and philanthropic efforts. Her previous engagements concerning development issues include: appointments as Global Ambassador for Live to Love and Make Roads Safe campaign in 2012, advocacy during the Zero Discrimination Campaign (UNAIDS) in 2013, and a Live to Love humanitarian aid trip to Nepal last year.

Along with her partner, Jean Todt of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, Yeoh will continue to be an outspoken advocate for road safety, an issue they both have supported for years. 

Yeoh joins the current roster of UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors, including Spanish actor Antonio Banderas, U.S. actress Connie Britton and Japanese actress Misako Konno; soccer legends Didier Drogba, Iker Casillas, Ronaldo, Marta Vieira da Silva and Zinedine Zidane; and acclaimed Spanish chefs, brothers Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca.


Still photos and videos will be uploaded immediately following the event to these links:

Media contacts:

Ajla Grozdanic, ajla.grozdanic@undp.org, o: 212.906.6860, c: 216.632.0999

Freya Morales, freya.morales@undp.org, o: 212.906.6626, c: 929.422.4430

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