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News & Press: Administration News

Your Update from the White House Business Team

Thursday, January 2, 2014  
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Friends –

As we head into the holidays, we write with your update from the White House. This week, the President hosted executives from the nation’s leading tech companies to discuss performance improvements on, government procurement reform and other topics.The President also announced that Kurt DelBene, former president of the Microsoft Office Division at Microsoft Corporation, will lead our ongoing efforts to improve HealthCare.Gov and the Health Insurance Marketplace.Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced the opening of the application process to join a business development trip to the Middle East in March, and Senior Administration Officials met with a broad range of CEO’s to discuss ending commodity-driven tropical deforestation.

As always, contact us with any questions or concerns at all of us here at the White House, we wish you and your families a very Happy Holidays and New Year.

The White House Business Team

Ari, Marisa, and Sam

President Obama Meets with the Country’s Leading Tech Executives

On Tuesday, the President and the Vice President met with executives from leading tech companies in the Roosevelt Room. The group discussed a number of issues of shared importance, including the progress being made to improve performance and capacity issues with HeathCare.Gov. While discussing the challenges surround federal IT procurement, the President made clear his continued focus on improving the way we deliver technology to maximize innovation, efficiency and customer service, and encouraged the CEOs to continue to share their ideas on how to do so.

The group also discussed the national security and economic impacts of unauthorized intelligence disclosures. This was an opportunity for the President to hear from CEOs directly as we near completion of our review of signals intelligence programs, building on the feedback we’ve received from the private sector in recent weeks and months. The President made clear his belief in an open, free, and innovative internet and listened to the group’s concerns and recommendations, and made clear that we will consider their input as well as the input of other outside stakeholders as we finalize our review of intelligence programs.

Review the highlights of the meeting byclicking here.

President Obama meets with Tech Leaders

President Obama meets with tech leaders including Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and AT&T chairman Randall Stephenson.Photo credit: Kevin Lamarque, Reuters(December 17, 2013)

Kurt DelBene to Succeed Jeff Zients as Top Manager of

In the meeting with the tech executives, the President also announced that Kurt DelBene, who most recently served as president of the Microsoft Office Division at Microsoft Corporation, will succeed Jeff Zients as Senior Advisor to Secretary Sebelius. DelBene will lead our ongoing efforts to improve and the Health Insurance Marketplace starting this Wednesday.

Read more about Mr. DelBene’s backgroundin Secretary Sebelius’ blog post.

Business Leaders Come to the White House in the Month of December

Continuing the President’s effort to engage with the private sector, The White House Business Council has brought together regional business leaders for substantive briefings and policy discussions at the White House since the first week of December. Large and small business owners from across the country have been meeting in groups with Senior Officials to discuss Administration efforts to speed up economic growth and encourage hiring, the economic benefits of commonsense immigration reform, an aggressive trade agenda, and the importance of working with employers to address long-term unemployment.

Secretary Pritzker to Lead Business Development Mission to the Middle East

Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker will lead a senior-executive Business Development Mission to the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar March 8-14, 2014.

The trade mission is critical to building on export growth and furthering the Obama Administration’s efforts to help U.S. businesses compete and succeed in the global economy. It is also an important component of the Department of Commerce’s "Open for Business Agenda,” which prioritizes trade and investment.

This mission will highlight export opportunities for U.S. businesses in three leading industry sectors with an emphasis on project management and engineering (including construction, architecture and design), renewable energy (solar, wind, waste-to-energy), smart grid and energy efficiency, and environmental technologies (including water/wastewater; air pollution control; and waste management).

Connecting U.S. businesses with opportunities in new markets is a fundamental to the mission of the Department of Commerce and its ‘Open for Business Agenda. This is a particularly exciting time to be looking toward the Middle East and countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar as a destination for U.S. exports, especially in the infrastructure sector. Exports now support nearly 10 million U.S. jobs, up 1.3 million since 2009.

Businesses interested in participating in the upcoming business development mission can apply here.

Partnering to End Commodity-Driven Tropical Deforestation

In early December, Senior Administration officials including Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett and Director for Energy and Climate Change, Dan Utech, led a meeting with CEOs and top executives from global consumer companies, including Unilever, Nestle, Walmart, Coca-Cola and others. They discussed strategies for how we can work together to improve the environmental sustainability of supply chains for top companies.Nancy Sutley, Gayle Smith, USAID Administrator Raj Shah, and Drew O’Brien, State Department Representative for Global Partnerships, joined the discussion on notable and economically viable efforts in the private sector to reduce the impact on global deforestation and climate change.

Read more about the meeting in Dan Utech’s blog post.

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