Trump creates tech council to 'modernize' government's digital services

trump tech summit meeting

Trump looks to be continuing his efforts to forge a better working relationship with Silicon Valley.

The White House announced Monday that President Trump signed an executive order establishing an American Technology Council to help the government "transform and modernize" its digital services.

The Council falls under the White House Office of American Innovation led by Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, a White House official confirmed to CNNTech.

According to the order, which was signed by Trump on Friday, the president will preside over the council's meetings. The ultimate goal: "coordinate the vision, strategy, and direction" and "advice to the president related to policy decisions" regarding the federal government's use of information technology.

But the order did not include details about who will participate in the council, or when it will first meet. It specifies government heads who will be members of the council, and notes that additional invitees will also be asked to attend.

The administration will tap tech talent from Silicon Valley to participate in a "summit" in June to lend their expertise and ideas to the council. That news was first reported by Axios. The event will include "working sessions," a White House official said.

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Heading up the council will be director of strategic initiatives Chris Lidell, the White House official told CNNTech. Previous stints by Lidell including serving as chief financial officer at both Microsoft (MSFT) and GM (GM).

One person who won't be attending the June event? Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. A spokesperson confirmed to CNNTech that Uber will not be participating.

Kalanick had previously agreed to be a part of Trump's business advisory council but pulled out before its first meeting.

"Joining the group was not meant to be an endorsement of the president or his agenda but unfortunately it has been misinterpreted to be exactly that," Kalanick wrote in a memo obtained by CNN.

The pullout came after Trump issued a sweeping executive order, imposing a temporary travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Trump has had a rocky relationship with Silicon Valley leaders, which began in part with a controversial travel ban rejected by many in Silicon Valley. So tech leaders have found themselves in a precarious position: Communication with the administration is important for business issues, including navigating regulations but can also result in backlash from customers who don't agree with the administration's policies and stances.

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