Apple CEO Tim Cook tapped to advise President Trump's 'Office of American Innovation'
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On Monday U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to announce a new White House agency dubbed the "Office of American Innovation," staffed by former business executives and advised by current ones — among them Apple CEO Tim Cook.
The office will be run by Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and given the authority to overhaul sections of federal bureaurcracy, possibly even privatizing some services, the Washington Post said. Other people advising the team include Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, former Microsoft head Bill Gates, and Tesla/SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. Indeed the office is said to have a strong emphasis on technology and data.
Kushner is said to be selling the office as "an offensive team," yet non-ideological. Despite its business leanings, it will allegedly incorporate talent from inside government as well as outside, and link the business, philanthropic, and academic worlds.
"The government should be run like a great American company," Kushner told the Post. "Our hope is that we can achieve successes and efficiencies for our customers, who are the citizens."
Some early plans include modernizing the tech infrastructure of the federal government, changing up workforce training programs, and reorganizing Veterans Affairs. The office will also aim at "transformative projects" under Trump's $1 trillion infrastructure plan, one of these being the goal of bringing broadband to every American. Some government services could be handed over to private companies, while in other cases existing contracts might be given to new bidders.
People associated with the American Innovation group have often been critical of Trump. Cook in particular has attacked multiple policies, such as Trump's stances on immigration, women, transgender rights, and minorities.
At the same time, the Apple CEO has previously met with Kushner and Trump himself, looking to sway the White House in its favor where it can. Some critics have argued that executives opposed to Trump should refuse to collaborate.