Trump will host tech CEOs for new initiative

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In an effort to modernize government services, President Trump is meeting with top technology CEOs at the White House on Monday to garner new ideas to improve the White House. Spearheaded by Jared Kushner’s Office of American Innovation, the new group is called the American Technology Council.

“We think of ourselves of having 320 million customers who are our citizens and we want them to receive digitally-enabled government services that are as good as what they receive in the private sector,” said a senior administration official.

The list of business leaders who will attend the event is impressive:

  • Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon
  • Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Alphabet
  • Tim Cook, CEO of Apple
  • PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel
  • Ajay Banga, CEO of MasterCard
  • Zachary Bookman, CEO of OpenGov
  • Safra Catz, co-chief executive of Oracle
  • John Doerr, Chairman of Kleiner Perkins
  • Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware
  • Alex Karp, CEO of Palantir
  • Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel
  • Tom Leighton, CEO of Akamai
  • Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP
  • Steven Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm
  • Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft
  • Shantanu Narayen, CEO of Adobe
  • Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM
  • Julie Sweet, CEO of Accenture

The Russian investigation has been getting in the way as White House officials attempt to focus on technology, infrastructure and workforce development. Still, experts from the private sector, academia and government are set to converge upon the White House for ten working sessions, which will take place over the course of four hours.

“The overall purpose of the day is to support our objective around modernizing government services,” the official said, adding, “Our current services are poor and well behind the private sector. We want to improve that and get it to at least a level of the private sector.”

All in the interest of improving the average person’s day-to-day life, the official noted, “So those 320 million people all interact with the government on a daily or weekly basis in some way, and if we can make individual interactions five, 10, and in some cases, 50 or 100 percent better, that’s going to make a fundamental difference to a large number of people in this country.”

Noting that the government spends more than $80 billion a year on IT, the White House said that upgrading government IT systems will benefit the economy by decreasing costs.

“We think we can save a lot of that by making the infrastructure better and more efficient,” the official said, adding that they are also dedicated to reducing fraud and enhancing cyber security. “And that’s not only for our internal data here in the government but also for all saved citizen data.”

Disney CEO Bob Iger and Tesla CEO Elon Musk both said they would quit participating on a White House advisory council after Trump withdrew from the Paris climate accords, however, Monday’s meeting has not been affected.

“We had virtually no fallback from the Paris thing,” said the official.

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