Former President Barack Obama will deliver a rare set of public remarks Wednesday, the beginning of a series of upcoming events after eight months of departing office.
Obama will give a keynote address and answer questions from Bill and Melinda Gates during an event sponsored by their organization that marks the release of a report tracking progress on global development.
Obama has reemerged in public infrequently since leaving the White House in January, focused instead on writing a memoir and traveling. He has spoken at a smattering of events for his own foundation, and appeared in Europe in May with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
This fall, Obama is due to appear more, holding events for Democrats running in an off-election year, including gubernatorial candidates in New Jersey and Virginia.
When he’s spoken in public, Obama has avoided criticizing his successor Donald Trump, though he has released statements on Facebook decrying decisions Trump has made over the course of his presidency.
He was sharply critical of Trump’s plan to end a program shielding certain young immigrants from deportation, and he has been critical of attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the signature legislative accomplishment of his presidency.
In other areas, however, Obama has expressed more veiled displeasure. He didn’t respond directly to Trump’s equivocal comments about white supremacist violence in Virginia, instead tweeting a quote from Nelson Mandela (the tweet became the most liked of all time).
The two men have not spoken since the handoff of power on Inauguration Day, and their relationship is marked more by animosity than a shared respect at having both held the same office.
On Wednesday, Obama is expected to address the importance of supporting global development initiatives, including those highlighted by the Gates Foundation in their report.
The “Goalkeepers” report assesses a set of indicators pegged to the Global Goals, targets set by the United Nations in 2015 focused on reducing poverty and improving health. The report tracks statistics on child mortality, HIV rates and other areas to identify areas of need and single out successful methods for success.
Other speakers at Tuesday’s event include Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, with whom Obama enjoyed a friendship while in office, and Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani female education activist.