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America’s biggest tech titans are heading to Washington. On June 19, Apple‘s Tim Cook, Microsoft‘s Satya Nadella, and other executives will attend the inaugural meeting of the American Technology Council to discuss how to modernize our government.
According to Bloomberg, top executives from 11 companies will meet with Trump’s chief technology officer, son-in-law Jared Kushner, and then split into smaller sessions. These groups will talk about things such as government agencies and tech sales, with an ultimate goal of eventually transforming and modernizing our government’s digital services and IT. Trump formed the American Technology Council in an executive order issued May 1 (full text here). Companies that were invited to the June 19 meeting include Facebook, Alphabet Inc. (Google’s umbrella company), Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon, as well as Oracle and IBM.
The meeting arrives at an interesting time. Many of these very same leaders publicly butted heads with the president over his decision to exit the Paris climate accord. In a note to employees, Tim Cook, for example, said that he tried to persuade Trump not to leave the Paris agreement. “Climate change is real and we all share a responsibility to fight it,” Cook wrote. “I want to reassure you that today’s developments will have no impact on Apple’s efforts to protect the environment.”
Silicon Valley leaders have also disagreed with the administration’s stance on immigration. Early in Trump’s presidency, nearly every major tech company issued some level of comment reassuring its commitment to equal rights, diversity, and tolerance. Seventy predominantly tech companies also took legal action against the president’s travel ban in the form of an amicus brief in February.
If Trump’s December meeting with tech executives is any indication, at the very least we should get some more classic photos out of the occasion.
Christina Bonnington is a tech reporter who specializes in consumer gadgets, apps, and the trends shaping the technology industry. Her work has also appeared in Gizmodo, Wired, Refinery29, Slate, Bicycling, and Outside Magazine. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and has a background in electrical engineering.