President Trump on Monday signed an executive order creating a new council that will seek to bring together some of the nation's brightest minds in the field of technology to revamp the government's information technology infrastructure.
The new group is called the American Technology Council, and it is the latest in a series of moves by Trump to attempt to work together with the leaders of Silicon Valley. In December, Trump and high-ranking executives from most of the biggest tech firms met in New York for a roundtable session, and he currently has Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk as one of his business council advisors.
"Americans deserve better digital services from their Government," the Trump administration said in its executive order on Monday. "To effectuate this policy, the Federal Government must transform and modernize its information technology and how it uses and delivers digital services."
Leading the council will be Chris Axios.Liddell, who is an assistant to Trump and was previously CFO at Microsoft. No leaders from Silicon Valley have been confirmed yet, but the council is expected to bring together about 20 or so tech CEOs, according to a report by
Recruiting those CEOs could prove to be a challenge. During Trump's transition period and during his first few months in office, several tech leaders who have attempted to work with the president were the target of embarrassing and costly protests by either their users or their employees. Most notably, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick saw many of his users boycott his company's service and picket its offices as a result of his participation on Trump's advisory council. Kalanick responded by stepping down, saying his participation had come to be seen as an endorsement of policies he disagreed with.
Any tech leaders who consider participation on the ATC will have to consider the potential blowback.