On Wednesday, July 25, the White House Business Council and White House Office of Public Engagement hosted an Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Business Leaders Forum at the White House. This event was organized as part of the White House’s ongoing effort to engage business leaders and job creators, solicit feedback on the Administration’s efforts to support and assist the business sector, and identify opportunities for partnership to drive economic growth.
AAPI Business leaders, representing major corporations and small businesses from a range of industries and sectors, participated in the event, which was organized with the support of the International Leadership Foundation, the Coalition of Asian American Business Organizations, the Asian Business Association, the California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce, and the Minority Business Development Agency at the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The forum kicked off with remarks by Fred Hochberg, Chairman and President of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, and Alan Krueger, Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisors. These senior leaders provided an overview of current economic trends and opportunities and highlighted the President’s plan to move the economy forward.
U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park spoke next, describingthe Administration’s efforts to drive competitiveness through innovation, highlighting the Presidential Innovation Fellows program, a new initiative to bring top innovators from outside government for focused “tours of duty” with our best federal innovators on game-changing projects. Todd also described the Administration’s “Open Data Initiatives” to unlock government data related to education, energy, and public safety.
Later in the day, a panel of White House and Department of Commerce officials participated in a discussion on economic competitiveness as it relates to manufacturing, immigration, and science and technology policy. Participants then heard from Maura O’Neill, Chief Innovation Officer at the U.S. Agency for International Development, and Jonathan Greenblatt, Director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, both of whom described some of the ways in which the Obama Administration’s focus on innovation is being implemented.
The forum concluded with a conversation on ways in which AAPI business leaders can get engaged with the Administration, for example, through the Minority Business Development Agencyand the White House Initiative on AAPIs.
Ari Matusiak is the Executive Director of the White House Business Council. Gautam Raghavan is an Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Engagement.