Former first lady Michelle Obama is slated to speak in Salt Lake City this month.
For those interested in attending, get ready to shell out some cash. A ticket to the Sept. 21 event costs $199.
Obama will address an audience of up 1,500 during a “moderated conversation” at the Grand America Hotel (555 S. Main) hosted by Pluralsight, a Utah-based tech company.
“She is one of the most important and influential advocates for positive change in our generation,” said Aaron Skonnard, Pluralsight CEO, in a blog announcing the event. “Her voice is crucial in advancing the conversation around closing the [technology] skills gap.”
Obama is the keynote speaker for the company’s three-day user conference starting Sept. 19. Other lecturers — including a former CIO from Facebook — will focus on cybersecurity, big data and artificial intelligence. Arne Duncan, education secretary under former President Barack Obama, is also scheduled to talk on the main stage.
Michelle Obama spoke at Apple’s annual developer conference in June, urging computing companies to hire more women.
“Girls walk away from tech and science. ... There’s something about how this subject is being taught,” she said, according to a report from CNBC. “You guys are smarter than that. You’re better than that, let’s figure it out.”
A spokeswoman for Obama did not return The Salt Lake Tribune’s requests for comment.
As first lady, Obama focused on improving education, including initiatives for arts classes and healthier lunches. She also championed more schooling opportunities for women and students of color.
Obama has visited Utah before in July 2011 to fundraise for her husband’s second presidential campaign.
“It’s going to be long and it’s going to be hard,” she said, “because there’s nothing easy about what Barack Obama is trying to do.”
Tickets to the entire Pluralsight conference are $499 for Utah residents and $899 for out-of-state attendees. The event — which spokeswoman Mariangel Babbel described as a “gathering of the tech and business elite” — is sponsored by Microsoft and Adobe.