Milken Global Conference Late Night


David Foster leads Late Night at Milken Institute Global Conference



At Late Night, the final May 1 session of the Milken Institute Global Conference at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, the evening’s host David Foster left the stage and walked over to Michael Milken, who was seated in the third row.

“How’s the day been going so far?” the 16-time Grammy winner asked the Milken Institute chairman.

“We solved all the problems in the world,” joked Milken, “and we’re waiting tonight for new problems, so we can work on them tomorrow…


Click here to read my entire story in the Los Angeles Times about Late Night, a fabulous break at the Milken Institute Global Conference after a long day of brain-taxing sessions that went from early morning until dinner.  

Scroll down the page for more photos from the 4-day conference, which included one-on-one talks between Milken and the former president George W. Bush, former vice-president Joe Biden and other notable speakers; celebrity sightings; a vast number of informative sessions; and a dinner program with filmmakers Jon Favreau and J.J. Abrams. 



Plus, here are a few of my favorite takeaways below:

Random takeaways from the George W. Bush interview: 

– On his decision during his presidency to help alleviate Africa’s HIV/AIDs crisis: “When you’re told there’s a pandemic destroying an entire generation of people and you’re the president of the most powerful nation, I thought it would be morally shameful not to act,” he said. “I know people say we’ve got problems, but nothing like this, nothing like a pandemic destroying an entire generation.”

– On the middle east conflict: “If you study history, freedom always wins if you give it a chance, and freedom yields peace,” he said. “I believe women will lead the freedom movement in the middle east.”


– On Vladmir Putin: Bush said that a year after he introduced Putin to his Scottish terrier Barney, Putin invited him to his dacha outside Moscow to meet his dog. “Out bounds a huge Russian hound,” the former president recalled, “and (Putin) says ‘bigger, stronger and faster than Barney…’ It spoke volumes, for somebody to say to the president, my dog is bigger than your dog.”

– On painting: Bush attributed his the inspiration for his current interest in painting to book he read about Winston Churchill’s paintings.

– On Hollywood: After Bush and Milken pointed out their similarities, Milken showed his high school photo, which also pictured a young Sally Field as a cheerleader. “Hanging out with movie stars – not exactly my base of support,” Bush said, prompting a laugh from the audience.


Random takeaways from the Favreau/Abrams interview:

– “Star Wars isn’t a movie. It’s a religion,” said Abrams, producer/ director of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” maintaining that fans object if you change too much, so it’s not enough like the franchise; or if you change too little, so it’s too much like the last film.

– Favreau considered his 1996 film, “Swingers,” a failure, because the movie – which he wrote and starred in – made a mere $5 million at the box office. Yet the film eventually became a fan favorite, as so many people have since seen it on TV or video.



Top photo: Michael Milken, left, talks with David Foster at Late Night, an entertainment break for attendees at the Milken Institute Global Conference (Photo courtesy of the Milken Institute)

Second photo: Caroline Campbell performs at Late Night at the Milken Institute Global Conference (Photo courtesy of the Milken Institute)

Third photo: Paul Anka sang a new version of “My Way,” tailored to conference host Michael Milken, at Late Night at the Milken Institute Global Conference (Photo courtesy of the Milken Institute)


Fourth photo: Jazz harmonicist Frédéric Yonnet at Late Night at the Milken Institute Global Conference (Photo,

Fifth photo: In an informal conversation over lunch on May 3, former president George W. Bush, left, talked with Michael Milken about his commitment to Africa, his thoughts on the middle east, his take on Vladimir Putin, his current interest in painting  and his relationship to Hollywood (Photo, courtesy of the Milken Institute)

Sixth photo: Joe Biden, left, had me in tears at a May 3 early morning session, as he talked with Michael Milken about the death of his son, Beau, from brain cancer. As he wrapped up the conversation, the former vice president – who is now collaborating with world leaders to drive cancer research forward – said he could use Milken’s help. “I’d be honored,” Milken replied without hesitation. (Photo, courtesy of the Milken Institute)


Seventh photo: Apple’s Senior VP Eddie Cue, center, interviewed blockbuster filmmakers Jon Favreau, left, and J.J. Abrams over a dinner session on May 1. (Photo,

Eighth photo: After having met Lionel Richie and Lisa Parigi at the Global Gourmet Games, I caught up with the couple again during the Global Conference. (Photo,

Ninth photo: In a May 2 session, Britain’s Prince Andrew introduced “Pitch@Palace,” a company he established that focuses on start-ups, filling the investing gap, he said, between “where angels fear to tread” and “where venture capitalists can’t stoop to scoop” (Photo,


Tenth photo: Actor/producer Reese Witherspoon participated in the May 3 “That’s Entertainment” panel, alongside top Hollywood executives, who discussed among other things, streaming vs. cable vs. broadcast television vs. the big screen. The producer of HBO’s “Big Little Lies,” Witherspoon said she wished to cater to the underserved female audience interested in “more than 12 ways to cook chicken.” (Photo, courtesy of the Milken Institute)

Eleventh photo: From left, jazz harmonicist Frédéric Yonnet, filmmaker Sabrina McCormick and the author of this website after Late Night at the Milken Institute Global Conference (Photo,


Lionel Richie, Katie Couric, Tyrese Gibson face off at Global Gourmet Games

Sofia Carson, Bruno Tonioli, Nigel Lythgoe among dance lovers at Los Angeles Ballet Gala

Barbra Streisand takes Trump to task at Simon Wiesenthal Center dinner

Chelsea Handler takes aim at Donald Trump at Young Literati Toast

Open Mind Gala honors Demi Lovato – Lisa Kudrow hosts; Chord Overstreet Entertains

Paul G. Allen and Toyota honored at eco-focused UCLA Gala

Aja Naomi King, Issa Rae, Janelle Monae, Yara Shahidi honored at Essence Black Women in Hollywood Gala

Milken Global Conference Late Night

Published May 11, 2017 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA